In his recent exhortation, Pope Francis talks about the context of becoming holy. He wants us to ask,
- Can I become holy in the midst of my busy, daily schedule?
- Do I need to become a nun or a priest in order to be holy?
- What is a realistic path for me to become holy?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly asked these questions over the years. As I get older, I see my daily life, with its warts and blessings, as the “container” for me to become holy.
As an encouragement, the Holy Father points to the ultimate context for learning the be holy: the Church. He says,
“In the Church, holy yet made up of sinners, you will find everything you need to grow towards holiness.” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 15)
If you were trying to get in shape, where would you turn? Most likely to a gym with personal trainers and a community that supports you. Right? This may explain why CrossFit is so popular in the United States- it offers just the right amount of support and guidance for getting fit.
Pope Francis is telling us that the Church is the “gym” for individuals who want to become not just more prayerful but more human, more whole. St. Iraneaus famously said, “The glory of God is a human being, fully alive.” This is holiness, to be fully alive and rooted in Christ.
To do this, we need three things: Resources, Role Models and Routines. The Church provides all three and in subsequent posts, we will explore each in detail.
In the meantime, spend some time today considering the ways in which the Church is your personal gym for growing in holiness.