Skip to content
Catholic Online SHopping 20% off RE-Grand Opening SALE

RE-Grand Opening
FREE Shipping over $49 (lower 48)

Father Cantalamessa on Holiness

Pontifical Household Preacher on All Saints' Day

ROME, NOV. 1, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of a commentary by the Pontifical Household preacher, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, on the readings from the feast of All Saints.

* * *

Holiness Is Not a Luxury ...
Revelation 7:2-4,9-14; John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12a

The saints the liturgy celebrates on this solemnity are not only those canonized by the Church and mentioned in our calendars. They are all those who are saved and form the heavenly Jerusalem. Speaking of the saints, St. Bernard said: "Let us not be slow in imitating those we are happy to celebrate." It is, therefore, the ideal occasion to reflect on the "universal call of all Christians to holiness."

The first thing to do in speaking about holiness is to free the word from the fear it inspires, due to some mistaken representations that we make of it. Holiness can entail extraordinary phenomena, but it is not identified with them. If all are called to holiness it is because, properly understood, it is within everyone's reach, it is part of the normality of the Christian life.

God is the "only Holy One" and "the source of all holiness." When one attempts to see how man enters into the sphere of God's holiness and what it means to be holy, the ritualistic idea in the Old Testament immediately prevails in one's mind.

The means of God's holiness are objects, places, rites and prescriptions. Heard, it is true, especially in the prophets and the Psalms, are different voices, exquisitely moral, but voices that remain isolated. In Jesus' time, the idea still prevailed among the Pharisees that holiness and justice consist in ritual purity and scrupulous observance of the law.

Looking at the New Testament, we see profound changes. Holiness does not reside in the hands, but in the heart; it is not decided outside but within man, and it is summarized in charity.

The mediators of God's holiness are no longer places (the Temple of Jerusalem or the Mountain of the Beatitudes), rites, objects or laws, but a person, Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ is the very holiness of God that comes to us in person, not in a distant reverberation of his. He is "the Holy One of God" (John 6:69).

We come into contact with Christ's holiness in two ways, and it is communicated to us: by appropriation and by imitation. Holiness is above all a gift, grace. Given that we belong to Christ more than to ourselves, having been "purchased at great price," it follows from this, inversely, that the holiness of Christ belongs to us more than our own holiness. It is what gives flight to the spiritual life.

Paul teaches how this "audacious blow" is given when he states solemnly that he does not want to be found with a righteousness of his own, or holiness based on observance of the law, but only with that which is through faith in Christ (Philippians 3:5-10). Christ, he says, has made himself "our righteousness and sanctification and redemption" (1 Corinthians 1:30). He is "for us": therefore, for all intents and purposes, we can claim his holiness as our own.

Along with this fundamental means of the faith and the sacraments, imitation must also have a place, that is, personal effort and good works. Not as a separate and different means, but as the only appropriate means to manifest the faith, translating it into act.

When Paul writes: "For this is the will of God, your sanctification," it is clear that he understands precisely this holiness which is the fruit of personal commitment. He adds, in fact, as though to explain in what the sanctification he is talking about consists: "that you abstain from immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor" (1 Thessalonians 4:3-9).

"There is but one sadness in the world, and it is not to be saints," said Leon Bloy, and Mother Teresa was right when a journalist asked her point-blank how she felt being acclaimed as being holy around the world, and she answered: "Holiness is not a luxury; it is a necessity."

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Cantalamessa, All Saints, Holiness, Liturgy

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.