Holiness isn't out of reach

Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 11. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

On April 9, Pope Francis released a new apostolic exhortation, “Gaudete et Exsultate,” which joyfully re-proposes the universal call to holiness, renewing and reinforcing a significant theme of Vatican II.

The exhortation is, above all, a practical guide. The pope tells us that holiness is not a goal that is out of reach for the people of God but is something we can find in abundance “next door.”

Pope Francis emphasizes the importance of discernment, “small gestures” and daily attention to the task of holiness. His distinctively Jesuit approach is both programmatic and personal, challenging all Catholics, especially those already in tune with his papacy, to consider how they might deepen their cooperation with God.

“Do not be afraid to set your sights higher, to allow yourself to be loved and liberated by God,” he writes. “Holiness does not make you less human, since it is an encounter between your weakness and the power of God’s grace” (No. 34).

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

The latest from america

Join America Media as we prepare for the coming of our Lord with special daily Advent reflections on The Word podcast.
America StaffNovember 27, 2020
St. Francis’ poverty was not cold and brutal but actually, in a way, worldly. It was a poverty that anyone today searching for what is real and authentic might relate to.
Jason M. BaxterNovember 27, 2020
The image displays five photos of the five members of the prayer service's organizing committee: Moira Egan, a white woman in her 50s with dark hair (top left); Kathleen Friel, a white woman with short hair wearing glasses (top middle); Ricardo da Silva, S.J., a white man who is bald with a brown beard, wearing glasses (top right); Father John Mulreany, S.J., wearing clerical carb that is black, and glasses (bottom left); Allison Connelly, white woman, light brown hair and glasses (bottom right)
An New York City parish organized a fully accessible prayer service for people with disabilities, who even in the church are often forgotten on the margins.
Erika RasmussenNovember 27, 2020
Roberto S. Goizueta’s 'Caminemos con Jesús' has become incarnate in singer-songwriter-theologian Tony Alonso’s new songbook.
Cecilia González-AndrieuNovember 27, 2020