The Universal Call to Holiness

by Javier Luis P Gomez

When we think of the word ‘holiness,’ usually we will point to the religious wearing the habit or the monk who has spend hours in meditation. “Yes,” we think, “These are the people who have reached that elusive state of holiness.” And then we affix to this idea that, “it is something that I won’t get to do.”

Over the years, we’re slowly realizing that isn’t true. Because holiness is not inborn and it is not for some people only. Holiness is everyone’s goal. Fifty years ago the Second Vatican Council wrote that “it is evident to everyone, that all the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status, are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity.” (Lumen Gentium 40)

Quite simply, we are all called to be loving persons in the world. That is what it means to be holy. Not everyone is called to spend hours in prayer or to serve as a priest or religious. Some people are called to be lawyers. Others are called to be engineers. Each person has their vocation, and it is within that calling that they are to be holy.

I will end with a beautiful quote from Tomas Merton, who himself was a monk. He says, “Holiness is not and never has been a mere escape from responsibility and from participation in the task of man to live justly and productively in community with his fellow men.”

To be holy is not separate from being a living and functioning member of society. We are each called to transform the world and change ourselves. In doing so, we each grow toward our call to holiness.

As published in the November 06 issue of the Parish Bulletin.