Jesus assures us of the safety of his love and the promise of our worth with the statement:
The kingdom of God is within you.
It is as if he said: You are destined for an eternal Good you are already starting here in this life to taste. Do not be afraid of your infinite desire. You are loved as if you alone existed in the universe.
We are each and all brought into being and kept in being by a constant Embrace that never leaves us. This is why we can be happy. This is why, no matter what happens, we can refocus the lens, and engage with confidence in the deepest questions of our life.
This is why we can be assured that our worth is not determined by our life's circumstances. That we can stand on something that isn't crumbling around us. That we can be certain that we do not belong to the problems, fears, failures in our own lives and in society. Holiness is simply allowing God to open us to a Measure not our own. That is why holy people, saints canonized and saints unknown, are happy people.
This March and April we are inundated with holiness, celebrating saints who show us that the Lord bursts into human lives with a warmth that cannot be doubted and then through them impresses his love upon the future of the world.
March 17 St. Patrick
Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.
March 19 St. Joseph
Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home with you to be your wife. It is through the Holy Spirit that she has conceived. She will bear a son; and you shall give him the name Jesus.
April 27 Canonization of Saint John Paul II
"In God’s plan, however, the vocation of the human person extends beyond the boundaries of time. It encounters the will of the Father revealed in the Incarnate Word: God’s will is to lavish upon man a sharing in his own divine life. As Christ says: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10)." (Pope John Paul II from Be Not Afraid)
April 27 Canonization of Saint John XXIII
I am not Saint Aloysius, so I should not try to become holy the way he did, but rather according to my own way of being, my own character, my own circumstances. I do not have to be the pale, dried-up reproduction of even the most perfect model. God wants us to follow the examples of the saints, assimilate the vital substance of their virtues, convert it into our own blood, and adapt it to our own unique habits and special circumstances. (Pope John XXIII from Secret to Happiness)
Pauline Books and Media is celebrating the canonizations of these two great Popes (which will take place the Sunday after Easter) by reflecting on the amazing certainty that we are all loved and transformed and sent into the world as ambassadors of God's love. We are all called to the company of saints!
In the countdown to the canonization of St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII Pauline Books and Media is celebrating our call to holiness. We hope you join us!
Sr. Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP