Saturday, February 04, 2012

Particular holiness according to Blessed John XXIII

Brethren, Peace and Good to all of you in Jesus our Lord.

The Blessed Pope John XXIII made this entry in his journal in 1903:
From the saints I must take the substance, not the accidents of their virtues. I am not St. Aloysius, nor must I seek holiness in his particular way, but according to the requirements of my own nature, my own character and the different conditions of my life. I must not be the dry, bloodless reproduction of a model, however perfect. God desires us to follow the examples of the saints by absorbing the vital sap of their virtues and turning it into our own life-blood, adapting it to our own individual capacities and particular circumstances. If St. Aloysius had been as I am, he would have become holy in a different way. ~ Journal of a Soul
This is a lesson my Redemptorist, Franciscan, diocesan, and many lay guides had impressed upon me from my youth, that we're called to be saints in our own particular, personal way. We're not clones of each other, but as holy men and women, we are to present Jesus to others in our own personal manner.

God thought about us and loved us for all eternity, before we came to be in time. He has for each of us a particular, unique kind of love that He doesn't invest on anyone else in the same manner. In each Christian, Christ becomes incarnate again for the salvation of the world. This is what it means to be holy unto God and for others.

Holiness is, then, to reaffirm God's plan and love for us. Holiness makes us fully human, integrated persons. Holiness makes us strong as Jesus was, men and women according to His measure. Holiness is the normative way of life for a Christian, not the exception.

The first step to become holy is to want to be holy. Dare to be holy!