Gaudate et Exsultate
Rejoice and Be Glad
Pope Francis has issued a new Apostolic Letter on the universal call to holiness. What could be more in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council than that challenge and invitation to all of us? That holiness is not the privilege of a few but the call to all the baptized is one we have heard specifically for the last 50 years since the close of the Council.
The Holy Father makes it clear that holiness is not only for priests, nuns, monks but for the ordinary everyday person. Faithfulness to our vocation, everyday kindness and mercy towards another, a prayerful life, love, forgiveness all done in keeping with the Gospel after Jesus' example, is to be holy.
Our formally canonized brethren who provide heroic examples to us of "Saintly" holiness certainly stand as role models. But, if we look around we may recognize many saints among us. I know in parish ministry I have always found people who I would instantly recognize as holy people. They are role models for me as priest and I have always felt privileged to share in their experience.
Pope Francis reminds us of the spiritual tools God has provided: Prayer, confession, Eucharistic Adoration, works of mercy and charity which help to convey God's grace upon us in keeping with his desire: "Be perfect as my heavenly Father is perfect."
I haven't read the document as yet since it was just published yesterday but I certainly will and hope you'll do the same. As all of Pope Francis' writings I am sure they will be easy to comprehend and to navigate.
God's peace to all and let's all become what God desires us to be: A holy people