INSPIRED BY THE SPIRIT REJOICE AND BE GLAD Call to Holiness in Todays World THE MISSION OF THE CWL The Catholic Womens League of Canada is a national organization rooted in gospel values calling its members to holiness through service to
the people of God. CATHOLIC WOMENS LEAGUE The objects of the League shall be to unite Catholic women of Canada: to achieve individual and collective spiritual development to promote the teachings of the Catholic church to exemplify the Christian ideal in home and family life to protect the sanctity of life to enhance the role of women in church and society to recognize the human dignity of all people everywhere to uphold and defend Christian education and values in the modern world
to contribute to the understanding and growth of religious freedom, social justice, peace and harmony. My modest goal is to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities. For the Lord has chosen each one of us to be holy and blameless before him in love (Eph 1:4) SAINTS
GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES MODELS OF HOLINESS Martyrs Heroic Lives of Service Virtuous Life Mission THE SAINTS NEXT DOOR I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of Gods people:
in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile. In their daily perseverance I see the holiness of the Church militant. Very often it is a holiness found in our next-door neighbours, those who, living in our midst, reflect Gods presence. THE LORD CALLS I would like to insist primarily on the call to
holiness that the Lord addresses to each of us, the call that he also addresses, personally, to you: Be holy, for I am holy (Lev 11:44; cf. 1 Pet 1:16) THE GENIUS OF WOMEN Within these various forms, I would stress too that the genius of woman is seen in feminine styles of holiness, which are an essential means of reflecting Gods holiness in this world. Indeed, in times when
women tended to be most ignored or overlooked, the Holy Spirit raised up saints whose attractiveness produced new spiritual vigour and important reforms in the Church. We can mention Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Saint Bridget, Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint Thrse of Lisieux. But I think too of all those unknown or forgotten women who, each in her own way, sustained and transformed families and communities by the power of their witness. THIS CALL IS FOR YOU Let the grace of your Baptism bear fruit in your path of holiness Seek out the gifts of Scripture, Sacraments,
holy places, and living communities Growth in holiness comes in small gestures Holiness can present great challenges conversion & a greater love Click icon to add picture YOUR MISSION IN CHRIST Your mission in Christ each Saint is a mission planned by God and reflects a unique path of holiness; our mission has its fullest meaning in Christ and mysteries of his life;
to discern our personal choices and actions so they reflect the mysteries of Jesus Christ in todays world; is to become that Word, a living message of Jesus that God wants us speak to the world through the witness of our life. ACTIVITY THAT SANCTIFIES It is not healthy to love silence while fleeing interaction with others, to want peace and quiet while avoiding activity, to seek prayer while disdaining service ... Anything done out of anxiety, pride or the need to impress others will not lead to holiness We need a spirit of holiness capable of filling both solitude and service, our personal life and
our evangelizing efforts, so that every moment can be an expression of self-sacrificing love in the Lords eyes. MORE ALIVE, MORE HUMAN Gods grace sets us free from every form of enslavement. God leads us to recognize our great human dignity. As each Christian grows in holiness, he or she will bear greater fruit for our world. Do not be afraid to set your sights higher, to allow yourself to be loved and liberated by God. Do not be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit. TWO SUBTLE ENEMIES OF HOLINESS
GNOSTICISM a purely subjective faith whose only interest is a certain experience or a set of ideas and bits of information which are meant to console and enlighten, but which ultimately keep one imprisoned in his or her own thoughts (intellect) and feelings (emotions) PELAGIANISM the kind of life we lead and experience is solely based on our
human will (choices & actions) justification by our own efforts in place of the mystery and grace of God. WE ARE JUSTIFIED BY THE GRACE OF THE LORD. Saint John Chrysostom said that God pours into us the very source of all his gifts even before we enter into battle. Saint Basil the Great
remarked that the faithful glory in God alone, for they realize that they lack true justice and are justified only through faith in Christ. HOLINESS - FAITH, HOPE & CHARITY n60 To avoid this, we do well to keep reminding ourselves that there is a hierarchy of virtues that bids us seek what is essential. The primacy belongs to the theological virtues. At the centre is charity. CCC. 1813
The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all the moral virtues. They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life. They are the pledge of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human being. IN LIGHT OF THE MASTER In the Beatitudes, we find a portrait of the Master, which we are called to reflect in our daily lives. The word happy or blessed thus becomes a synonym for holy. They run counter to the way things are done in our world going against the flow
THE BEATITUDES: GOING AGAINST THE FLOW Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Spiritual poverty is closely linked with holy indifference, which brings us to a radiant interior freedom. Being poor of heart and detached: that is holiness. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth
Meekness is yet another expression of the interior poverty of those who put their trust in God alone. Reacting with meekness and humility: that is holiness. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted Knowing how to mourn with others: to offer and receive compassion is holiness. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
True justice comes about in peoples lives when they themselves are just in their decisions; it is expressed in their pursuit of justice for the poor and the weak. Hungering and thirsting for righteousness: that is holiness. THE BEATITUDES: GOING AGAINST THE FLOW Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Mercy has two aspects. It involves giving, helping and serving others, but it also
includes forgiveness and understanding. Giving and forgiving means reproducing in our lives some small measure of Gods perfection, which gives and forgives superabundantly. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will A heart that loves God and neighbour see God. (cf. Mt 22:36-40), genuinely and not merely in words, is a pure heart. Keeping a heart free of all that tarnishes love: that is holiness. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
To those who sow peace Jesus makes this magnificent promise: They will be called children of God (Mt 5:9). Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Whatever weariness and pain we may experience, the cross remains the source of our growth and sanctification. THE GREAT CRITERION - HOLINESS
If we truly start out anew from the contemplation of Christ, we must learn to see him especially in the faces of those with whom he himself wished to be identified. SIGNS OF HOLINESS IN TODAYS WORLD Perseverance, patience and meekness Joy and a sense of humour Boldness and passion In community
In constant prayer SPIRITUAL COMBAT, VIGILANCE AND DISCERNMENT COMBAT VIGILANCE For this spiritual combat, we can count on the powerful weapons that the Lord has given us: faith-filled prayer, meditation on the word of God, the celebration of Mass, Eucharistic adoration, sacramental Reconciliation, works of charity, community life, missionary outreach. If we become careless, the false promises of evil will easily seduce us. The path of holiness is a source of peace and joy, given to us by the
Spirit. At the same time, it demands that we keep our lamps lit (Lk 12:35) and be attentive. The cultivation of all that is good, progress in the spiritual life and growth in love are the best counterbalance to evil. DISCERNMEN How can we know if something comes from the Holy Spirit or if it stems T from the spirit of the world or the spirit of the devil? The only way is through discernment, which calls for something more than intelligence or common sense. It is a gift which we must implore. If we ask with confidence that the Holy Spirit grant us this gift, and then seek to develop it through prayer, reflection, reading and good counsel, then surely we will grow in this spiritual endowment.
DISCERNMENT HOLY SPIRIT An urgent need: Without the wisdom of discernment, we can easily become prey to every passing trend. Always in the light of the Lord: I ask all Christians not to omit, in dialogue with the Lord, a sincere daily examination of conscience. A supernatural gift: We should always remember that discernment is a grace. Speak, Lord: this attitude of listening entails obedience to the Gospel as the ultimate standard, but also to the Magisterium as we seek to find whatever is most fruitful for the today of salvation. The logic of gift and of the cross: An essential condition for progress in discernment is a growing understanding of Gods patience and his timetable.
It is my hope that these pages will prove helpful by enabling the whole Church to devote herself anew to promoting the desire for holiness. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us a fervent longing to be saints for Gods greater glory, and let us encourage one another in this effort. In this way, we will share a happiness that the world will not be
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