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Tuesday, 10 April 2018 11:58

Pope sets out path to holiness for the modern world

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0418RejoiceandbeGlad 450Holiness is present in the patience of God’s people, in parents who raise their children with immense love, in people who work hard to support their families, in the sick, and in elderly religious who never lose their smile, says Pope Francis in his latest Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exultate.

In the document, ‘Rejoice and be Glad’, Pope Francis says the path to holiness consists in daily acts of charity, joy and a sense of humour and people should choose their own path to holiness according to their state in life.

“To be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or a religious,” he says.

“We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.

“Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy by living out your commitment with joy. Are you married? Be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ does for the Church. Do you work for a living? Be holy by labouring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters. Are you a parent or grandparent? Be holy by patiently teaching the little ones how to follow Jesus. Are you in a position of authority? Be holy by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain.”

Francis calls on Catholics to follow Jesus’ beatitudes through serving the marginalised, the poor and migrants, while also defending the child in the womb.

“Our defence of the innocent unborn needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development,” he writes.

“Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection.”

In the exhortation, Francis criticises those who describe the plight of migrants as a “secondary issue” compared to “grave bioethical issues”, saying they have adopted an attitude akin to a “politician looking for votes”. The attitude of a Christian, the Pope explains, is “to stand in the shoes of those brothers and sisters of ours who risk their lives to offer a future to their children.”

 

Read the full text of  the Pope's new Apostolic Exhortation, 'Rejoice and be Glad'.

PHOTO: Vatican News