Called to Be Holy

Thank you to the church sacristans for their good work preparing for Mass

Letters from a Pastor to His People- January 19, 2020


Dear Parishioners,


Called to be holy.  That is what Saint Paul says in our second reading from First Corinthians.  He tells the people they have been sanctified in Christ Jesus and are called to be holy.  What does holiness mean?


Let me answer by giving you what some folks, far holier and smarter than I, have said about the topic.  By the way, in my reading whenever I come across a definition or description of holiness, I write it down.  This is from my catalogue...


  • "Holiness does not consist in never having erred or sinned. Holiness increases the capacity for conversion, for repentance, for willingness to start again and, especially, for reconciliation and forgiveness....It is not the fact that we have never erred but our capacity for reconciliation and forgiveness which makes us saints. And we can all learn from this way of holiness." --Pope Benedict XVI
  • "Holiness belongs primarily to God. Whatever degree of holiness an individual possesses does not originate within himself but through his intimacy with the Divine. Holiness is not an illusion; it is an objective reality apparent in the life of one who radiates the love of God." --Donald DeMarco
  • "If, then, we want to seek some way of being holy, we must first of all renounce our own way and our own wisdom. We must 'empty ourselves' as He did. We must 'deny ourselves' and in some sense make ourselves 'nothing' in order that we may live not so much in ourselves as in Him. We must live by a power and a light that seem not to be there. We must live by the strength of an apparent emptiness that is always truly empty and yet never fails to support us at every moment. This is holiness." --Thomas Merton
  • "Holiness is an adventure, in fact the only one there is. Anyone who has understood that has penetrated to the heart of the Catholic faith." --Georges Bernanos


Maybe you prefer one of these definitions.  Or maybe you can write your own definition, using some elements from the above authors.  Either way, may these quotes inspire you to be holy.


Looking to fulfill your New Year's Resolution to read more? Then be part of the new Saint Juliana Book Club.  The goal is to read a book every month or so and meet, for those who are able, to discuss it.  The first book will be The Devil's Advocate by Morris West and we will meet Saturday, February 1st at 9:30am in the parish center.  Please obtain a copy of the book yourself.  If you can't make the discussion meeting, you're still welcome to read the book along with us.  This is a novel I think you'll find particularly interesting!


There is no school Monday for Martin Luther King Day.  The Pastoral Council will meet that night at 7pm.  


Thursday, January 22nd is the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.  Interestingly, we hear this from the Prophet Isaiah in our first reading for this Sunday: "Now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, that Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD, and my God is now my strength!" (Isaiah 49:5).  Please say a prayer this week for all pregnant mothers and for all unborn children, and for those unborn children who have lost their lives over this nearly half a century.  They are all glorious in the sight of the Lord.


Yours in Christ,

Fr. James

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