This week Pope Francis has issued a new apostolic exhortation on the call to holiness. It’s Latin name is Gaudete Et Exsultate, which means “rejoice and be glad.” And isn’t that what holiness calls us to — a life in Christ in which we ought rejoice in our life with the Lord?
The very first line is call and challenge to all of us.
“REJOICE AND BE GLAD” (Mt 5:12), Jesus tells those persecuted or humiliated for his sake. The Lord asks everything of us, and in return he offers us true life, the happiness for which we were created. He wants us to be saints and not to settle for a bland and mediocre existence. – Gaudete Et Exsultate, 1
There are five chapters in all:
- The Call to Holiness – Here the pope mentions that we have a personal call to be holy and are called to imitate the saints, in imitation of Christ.
- Subtle Enemies of Holiness – This chapter takes up the heresies and forces at work in the world that undermines holiness.
- In the Light of the Master – Here we find Jesus’ model for holiness with a Scriptural reflection on The Beatitudes.
- Signs of Holiness in Today’s World – Here the pope outlines reasons for hope that holiness can be achieved.
- Spiritual Combat, Vigilance, and Discernment – Finally, the pope writes that “The Christian life is a constant battle. We need strength and courage to withstand the temptations of the devil and to proclaim the Gospel. This battle is sweet, for it allows us to rejoice each time the Lord triumphs in our lives” (Gaudete Et Exsultate, 158).
Read the English translation at the Vatican website.
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