English bishop dedicates 'Year of Holiness' in 2019
FREE Catholic Classes
In a pastoral letter marking the first Sunday of Advent, Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury dedicated 2019 as the diocesan Year of Holiness, calling attention to the Second Vatican Council's emphasis on the universal call to holiness.
Shrewsbury, England, (CNA/EWTN News) - "It is this universal call to holiness which I wish all of us, clergy and people, to focus upon anew. It is striking that, amid all the crises of the 20th Century, the central message of the Second Vatican Council was that every one of us, in every state of life, is called to the fullness of the Christian life and the perfection of love: that is, called to become nothing less than a saint," Bishop Davies wrote.
"Advent is a time of renewed hope leading us to the light of Christmas," he said. "It is a journey we make in the darkest days of our year. Such days evoke the dark shadows in the world around us, and those failures in the lives and witness of Christians which have at times cast dark shadows over the face of the Church, obscuring for many, the clear light of Christ shining from her."
He said that "our renewal in holiness" is "the only renewal of the Church which will ever matter ... It is why only saints resolved the crises the Church has faced throughout history and why they have proved to be the great evangelisers."
"It is also why, today, amid the dark shadows of scandal and the challenge of a new evangelisation of western societies, it is urgent to recall this one goal of every Christian life for it is in the saints that the true face of the Church shines out. For, though they can have their place, no pastoral programme; no discussions amongst us; no re-organisation or re-structuring can ever accomplish this; only our striving for holiness to become the saints we have been called by God to be."
Both "our Christian calling and the ultimate goal of every human life" is "to become, in the end, a saint," said Bishop Davies, recalling that Christ told us "that this is the one thing which alone matters."
The bishop noted that Pope Francis wrote in a recent letter that "the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint."
"A saint is someone who reaches the complete and everlasting happiness of Heaven. We might say that holiness is happiness ... it is only by being holy that we can be truly happy."
Bishop Davies said: "The Holy Father writes, 'Do not be afraid to set your sights higher, to allow yourself to be loved and liberated by God'. For holiness, he writes, is 'the extent that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we model our life on Christ's'. We can never reach this goal by our own unaided efforts. By the grace of God we can!"
He encouraged everyone in the Diocese of Shrewbury to recall in the coming year that there is found in the Church, holy though composed of sinners, everything needed to grow in holiness.
"In daily prayer, frequent Confession and, above all, in the Holy Eucharist, we are given the Divine means, the grace to reach this goal," wrote Bishop Davies.
"This is our purpose as we enter anew into Advent," the bishop concluded. "Let us ask Our Lady, she who is 'full of grace', to accompany us along the path to the holiness, the true happiness to which we are called. In the beautiful words of the Second Vatican Council, we know that in the most Blessed Virgin Mary the Church has already reached perfection and in our struggle she shines out for us as a sign of certain hope and consolation until the day of the Lord shall come in splendour."
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2019
Young People and the Example of Mary. That young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world.
Farmers from across Italy brought their animals to the Vatican for a blessing Thursday, turning the street outside St. Peter's Square into ... continue reading
Some 60 people belonging to the Communities of Missionary Families conducted a mission beginning Jan. 1 in a series of towns on the ... continue reading
The Isle of Man's Abortion Reform Bill 2018 gained royal assent Tuesday, meaning women in the territory will soon be able to procure ... continue reading
Just over a month ahead of the much-anticipated February meeting on sex abuse, the Vatican said the summits goal is for bishops to leave ... continue reading
God the Father will always be there for his beloved children, Pope Francis said Wednesday, with a reminder that the unconditional love of ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- St. Vincent Pallotti: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, January 22, 2019
- Fr. Frank Pavone on The Pro-life Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther ...
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, January 22, 2019
- Bill to ban revenge porn introduced in Montana
- Holy cow: Farm animals receive blessing outside St Peter's Square
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019 HD Video
- Daily Reading for Thursday, January 24th, 2019 HD Video
- st john the baptist
- daily readings
- saint george
- saint james
- Saint Patrick
- st. francis
- st. jude
- st. peter
- mother theresa
- st james
- st joan of arc
- advent prayers
- St Joseph
- ten commandments
- Pope Francis
- saint agnes
- St Anthony
- 10 commandments
- mary magdalene
- Patron saints
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, January 21st, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, January 18th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, January 20th, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education