Called to Be Holy
At St. Monica’s, every September marks a new pastoral year that invites us to explore our faith by considering a theme that is relevant to our lives. This year, our theme is Called to be Holy … “Be Holy, for I Am Holy”. (1 Peter 1:16) What a happy coincidence it was that, as we were deciding on this theme, Pope Francis released his latest apostolic exhortation, Rejoice and Be Glad: The call to holiness in the contemporary world! With this resounding confirmation, we wasted no time in putting together a program that we are proud to share with you.
God, through the Holy Spirit, calls His creation to be Holy; to be who He created us to be in His own image. By calling us, and He calls us all the time, God isn’t asking us to change who we are. He is asking us to awaken to the reality that, in Christ, we are already Holy. In accepting this God-given grace, we unite with God to become more fully who we are.
Pope Francis tells us that the call to holiness is both personal and communal, and that it pushes us to actively build the kingdom of God. Holiness therefore, necessitates a committed relationship with God. In relationship with God, and by His grace, it is natural that we come to imitate Him. This imitation evolves as we mature in our faith, and we are then able to choose to bring holiness (God) in all that we do. Not only are we transformed, but so is everyone and everything we interact with. By acknowledging that the kingdom of God (the grace of holiness) is already within us, we can’t help but leave a piece of heaven wherever we go!
Our Liturgical and Adult Faith Education programs intend to look at the different ways that we can awaken to our call to be holy. Our opening retreat in October invites us to respond to Jesus’ invitation to “Come and see” his dwelling place, and over four evenings in November, Fr. Lloyd will consider with us the living of the seven lively virtues as the foundation and fulfillment of the holy, happy and satisfying existence for which God creates us. We will examine the role that holiness (God’s and ours) plays in the midst of the messes in our lives, and come to appreciate the holiness of our planet; the living creation of God that has a dream of its own and is waiting for us to align with it so that we might be more successful in making the changes necessary to maintain the integrity of our home. Fr. Raymond and members of his diocesan team will present our Lenten Mission on Pope Francis’ Rejoice and Be Glad apostolic exhortation to highlight the Pope’s perspective on the subject of holiness, and we will end the year with a workshop in May which will help us understand how we give and receive love so that we are more able to honor the holy in ourselves and others. Our year-long activities: the Book Club, Faith Sharing Groups, Bible Study, Contemplative Prayer Group and Video Divina, will offer you many opportunities throughout the year to awaken to your holiness in relationship with God, others and with creation.
The Adult Faith Education Brochure, graced by the beautiful artwork of Mary Southard, CSJ, and containing the detailed information for all our events, will be available for you to pick up as of September 29. Let us, this year and together, respond to God’s call to be holy as He is Holy, and to rediscover who we are in Christ!