As we begin the month of March, we have a new focus and a new challenge. We certainly do not abandon all that we have done in previous months. We now find that we are to Journey Together in Holiness. Pope Francis has written an encyclical, Gaudete et Exsultate, which is on the call to holiness in today’s world. In his writing, Pope Francis reminds us that all of us are called by God to be holy. That is correct…all of us. Holiness is not just for the saints but can be achieved in our daily life. To begin with, holiness means being yourself and working at being your best self. As we grow in an awareness of the gifts that God has given to each of us, we allow those gifts to direct our actions, to influence our choices, and to grow stronger by using them.
Pope Francis reminds us that we are to be aware of and respond to the needs of the poor and the underserved. You may wonder who the poor may be? They are those we meet each day who need our help. We often only think of the financially poor, however, there are those who are not respected by others, those different from ourselves, and those who are lonely.
In very simple and practical ways, we can grow in holiness. Lent is a good time to decide to not just give up but to take on. We can give up gossiping and decide to say only good and kind things to and about others. We can give up judging others and choose to find the good in them. We can give up saying mean things because we are angry or frustrated and find ways to be nice and thoughtful.
Let this Lent be a time when we can follow God’s invitation for each of us to be holy in our daily life. If each of us changes just a little, what a better and kinder world we will have. We will be a source of helping others grow in holiness.
A good practice would be for each family to choose a focus (maybe a different one each week) that can be a family Lenten activity. Praying together, reminding each other to use kind words, and refraining from overuse of technology are just a few family ideas.
May God in His goodness and mercy strengthen each of us as we embark on this Lenten journey together.
With love and hope,
Sr. Maureen Gillespie Mrs. Amy Lintner