Pope Francis’ new apostolic exhortation is both challenging and encouraging. Challenging because it’s a call to holiness—and encouraging because no matter who you are, holiness is possible! The Pope invites each of us to a new way of living: seeing the dignity of each human being, experiencing God’s presence in our world, and living the fullness of what it means to be holy and happy in our mission as disciples of Christ.
As Pope Francis tells us, “We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love, wherever we find ourselves.” If you’re married, you can be holy by caring for your spouse (the way Christ cares for the Church). If you’re employed, by working with integrity you can practice holiness. Treating your neighbors with kindness is another way you can be faithful to the person God created you to be and live a holy life.
Francis goes on to say, “At its core, holiness is experiencing, in union with Christ, the mysteries of his life. It consists in uniting ourselves to the Lord’s death and resurrection in a unique and personal way, constantly dying and rising anew with him.” Every experience of our lives can be a step along our path to growth in holiness.
Don’t settle for a bland and mediocre experience of Christianity—here is a roadmap for practical holiness in today’s world that will transform you and make a difference in the lives of those around you.