VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Here is a selection of quotations from “Gaudete et Exsultate” (“Rejoice and Be Glad”), Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on holiness:
— “I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile.”
— “Holiness is the most attractive face of the church.”
— “The important thing is that each believer discern his or her own path, that they bring out the very best of themselves, the most personal gifts that God has placed in their hearts, rather than hopelessly trying to imitate something not meant for them.”
— “In times when women tended to be most ignored or overlooked, the Holy Spirit raised up saints whose attractiveness produced new spiritual vigor and important reforms in the church.”
— “We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case.”
— “We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.”
— “This holiness to which the Lord calls you will grow through small gestures.”
— “Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy.”
— “Thanks be to God, throughout the history of the church it has always been clear that a person’s perfection is measured not by the information or knowledge they possess, but by the depth of their charity.”
— “Jesus explained with great simplicity what it means to be holy when he gave us the Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-12; Lk 6:20-23).”
— “Giving and forgiving means reproducing in our lives some small measure of God’s perfection, which gives and forgives superabundantly.”
— “We need to think of ourselves as an army of the forgiven. All of us have been looked upon with divine compassion.”
— “The saints are not odd and aloof, unbearable because of their vanity, negativity and bitterness. The Apostles of Christ were not like that.”
— “In this call to recognize him in the poor and the suffering, we see revealed the very heart of Christ, his deepest feelings and choices, which every saint seeks to imitate.”
— “It is true that the primacy belongs to our relationship with God, but we cannot forget that the ultimate criterion on which our lives will be judged is what we have done for others.”
— “The saints do not waste energy complaining about the failings of others; they can hold their tongue before the faults of their brothers and sisters and avoid the verbal violence that demeans and mistreats others.”
— “Christian joy is usually accompanied by a sense of humor.”
— “The saints surprise us, they confound us, because by their lives they urge us to abandon a dull and dreary mediocrity.”
— “A community that cherishes the little details of love, whose members care for one another and create an open and evangelizing environment, is a place where the risen Lord is present, sanctifying it in accordance with the Father’s plan.”
— “I do not believe in holiness without prayer, even though that prayer need not be lengthy or involve intense emotions.”
— “We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable.”
— “The devil does not need to possess us. He poisons us with the venom of hatred, desolation, envy and vice. When we let down our guard, he takes advantage of it to destroy our lives, our families and our communities.”
— “Discernment is not about discovering what more we can get out of this life, but about recognizing how we can better accomplish the mission entrusted to us at our baptism.”
— “Let us ask the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us a fervent longing to be saints for God’s greater glory, and let us encourage one another in this effort.”
Printed copies of “Rejoice and Be Glad” can be ordered from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops here.
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