Monday, May 21, 2018

Everyone's Vocation: Holiness


Fathers and mothers of families, those who are godparents through Baptism, and in particular those members of the laity who collaborate with the ecclesiastical hierarchy in spreading the Kingdom of the Divine Redeemer occupy an honorable, if often a lowly, place in the Christian community, and even they under the impulse of God and with His help, can reach the heights of supreme holiness, which, Jesus Christ has promised, will never be wanting to the Church.Mystical Body of Christ (Pope Pius XII)


This encyclical was written in 1943 and what it said is as relevant as ever. Lay people have a specific role in the Church and the Pope has outlined this clearly, that we do not need to be ordained to achieve the heights of holiness.

Holiness is a universal call to clergy, those in the consecrated lives and to laity. There is no exception to this.

Parents especially have the great duty of not only helping their children to be successful, but to be holy. Sadly, today's society is focused on success that this is all that matters. Parents, even devout Catholic parents, are sometimes swayed into thinking that their children's vocation is to be successful and not holiness. St Mother Teresa of Calcutta said God did not call her to be successful, but to be faithful. 

Fidelity to God is the only way to holiness and I would add, happiness.

This fidelity to God is what we strive for and is a call to everyone. There is nothing wrong in wishing success for our children. But this should not be at the expense of their relationship with God. To paraphrase Jesus, What good is success if we lose our soul?

In the end, we need to remember what God told his people: 

You might say in your heart: ‘My own strength, and the power of my own hand, have brought forth all these things for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, that he himself has provided you with strength, so that he may fulfill his covenant, about which he swore to your fathers, just as the present day reveals. Deuteronomy 8:17-18)

Yes, we all want our children to be successful, but this should be success in the eyes of God and not only in the eyes of men.

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