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But the Cross was part of the life Jesus and is also a part of our lives./© zolochiv.net
But the Cross was part of the life Jesus and is also a part of our lives./© zolochiv.net

Bishop Peter: Do you want to be Holy? A Saint?

Actually, that’s why each one of us is born for. We normally call that going to heaven. Of course, we all want to be “holy!”

Recently Pope Francis wrote a letter to the world on this topic. He talks about being holy in today’s world.

Normally we think about being holy as a full time dedicated life. Well, it is, but not in the way you may think it. You don’t have to be a priest, sister or a monk to be holy. The Pope is talking about being holy, living the life we now live, doing what we are doing, no matter where or who we are.

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It is possible to be holy living our married lives, working at our jobs with integrity and skill, being a parent or grandparent. Being holy is working for the common good (community life) and not taking advantage of anyone or for our personal gain.

Our good deeds and efforts do not alone make us holy. That comes through God’s grace. Holiness is a gift which we can have by asking God in prayer for it. Holiness is possible when we fully depend on God for everything we need.

There can be a problem here. Too many of us today like to think that we should depend only on ourselves because we feel that. It all depends “on me alone.” The church is saying that success comes when God works with me and I with Him.

Holiness depends on us discovering God’s Word and God’s Will, which has emphasis on our brothers and sisters in the world and not on ourselves.

We let ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit takes our weaknesses and overcomes them with God’s grace.

Holiness depends on being counter culture of the day which requires to be absorbed with social and political advantage for ourselves. Where excessive concerns for self-help and personal fulfilment dominate our lives. Holiness depends on us discovering God’s Word and God’s Will, which has emphasis on our brothers and sisters in the world and not on ourselves.

The Holy Father says, “The world tells us that entertainment, pleasure, diversion and escape make for good life. The world ignores problems of sickness and sorrow. The world has no desire to mourn. It would rather disregard painful situations, close them up or hide them.”

There is nothing wrong with trying to avoid pain, suffering, poverty etc. But the Cross was part of the life Jesus and is also a part of our lives. When we can see things as they truly are and can sympathize with reality, then we can truly be holy and experience what it means to be a person which is united with God.

Bishop Peter Stasiuk C.Ss.R. AM

This article was published in The Church and Life Newspaper, November 2018

This post is also available in: Ukrainian