Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Holiness is the real revolution"

I am back from a nine day pilgrimage to Italy, and what a wonderful journey of faith it was for myself and the 43 other pilgrims we had with us. We travelled to Paris (unexpectedly, but that's another story), Rome, San Giovanni Rotondo, Gargano, Assisi, and Orvieto. I will have stories and images to share over the next few days, but I thought I would start with one of our first experiences that I have been pondering in my heart since last Wednesday.

Last Wednesday (May 23) was our first day in Rome and of course, we went to the Wednesday General Audience of Pope Benedict. As always, it was an incredible and grand experience of the universal church. We were gathered with approximately 30,000 other people who were there to hear the Holy Father and receive his blessing. Pope Benedict had just returned a few days earlier from his apostolic journey to Brazil and so his Wednesday message was primarily a reflection on that experience.

In his speech, the Holy Father reflected on the canonization of Franciscan Friar Anthony of St. Anne Galvao, which he presided over. St. Anthony is the first native-born Brazilian to become a canonized saint of the Church. Reflecting on his life, the Pope said, "His witness is further confirmation that holiness is the true revolution that can promote the authentic reform of the Church and society."

"Holiness is the true revolution." What a powerful statement that is. Forget about all of the forms of revolution the world typically has to offer - usually at the end of a gun barrel or some other violent form, the Holy Father reminds us as does the life of St. Anthony of Brazil, and of course proto-typically that of Jesus, that the only way to effect true, lasting, profound change in our world is by living a life of holiness.

The great lie of our culture is that holiness is not something to be desired, sought after or even possible, except for a few elect. The Holy Father reminds us that in the lives of the saints we see them following our model, the perfect human being - Jesus Christ. Where He has gone, we too must follow.

If we want real change in our world; if we want to no longer lament the culture of death, the decay of civility, the increase of violence and immorality; then it is time to put the rubber to the road and lead lives of true and obvious holiness.

Holiness is the real revolution! Let us all be revolutionaries!!!!

You can read all of the Holy Father's Wednesday Audience address from last week at: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2007/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20070523_en.html

1 comment:

  1. You are so right...

    What a truly profound statement! I just woke up this morning from what seemed like an endless dream, example after example of holiness in a world where, as you point out, believes the lie that holiness is not to be desired. Then I got online, Googled for "real holiness", and found your blog.

    Holiness is the real revolution!

    WOW! Lord, please let me get my mind around this concept so my life can be a clear demonstration of it to others around me, so that my life can be a life of the miraculous, just like the Bible says it should be. I want to be like Jesus, Lord, for the sake of others. AMEN!

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