Late last night New Zealand time Pope Francis’ new Apostolic Exhortation “Rejoice and be Glad” (Gaudete et Exsultate) was published.
Those who were looking for a dense document heavy with dogma and definitions will be disappointed. Instead the pope opens with this point clarifying that his work “is not meant to be a treatise on holiness, containing definitions and distinctions helpful for understanding this important subject, or a discussion of the various means of sanctification. My modest goal is to re-propose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities.”
He continues: “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.”
I look forward to reflecting on the pope’s words over the next few days and will share some of my ponderings with Food For Faith readers.
On my first glimpse at the pope’s encouragement this morning an image came to mind. Along the walls of the nave of the Los Angeles Cathedral, larger than life tapestries of holy people accompany parishioners worshipping in the nave. Some of those who feature in the art are named saints of the church, but many of the subjects are not. They are people like you and I striving to live life fully with God in the midst of the demands of daily life. It’s people like this, like you and I, who are the holy people that the pope is writing of as he encourages us all to re-embrace the life of holiness.
You can read the entire text of “Rejoice & be Glad” at this link, and watch a five-minute video introduction on the video below.