What is holiness and what does it consist of?

What is holiness and what does it consist of? where is recognized

Holiness considered that quality of one who is Holy and who brings together a large number of virtues, is basically for many to live in accordance with the teachings of Christ and love as he loved.

If you want to know interesting aspects about what holiness is , be sure to read this article.

What is holiness?

The term holiness has different meanings, however, the most used refers to the adjective that gathers or encompasses all the characteristics of the one they consider to be Holy.

However, below, we present the different uses that are given to this word, what is holiness? then:

  • Cleanliness and spiritual purity
  • To be sacred or that stands out for its values.
  • Purity and perfection in conduct.
  • Person who has a close and special bond with a divine being and who is dedicated to his service.
  • It is considered a divine quality.
  • Special treatment given to the Pope, as a figure of higher hierarchy in the Catholic religion.

As you can see, the word holiness is usually quite difficult to define, since it depends on who uses it and for what.

What is holiness according to the bible?

Coming from the Latin term sanctĭtas , many religious consider holiness to be the perfect liberation from sin.

What is holiness? because it is to be like Christ, that your thoughts, feelings, words and way of acting imitate him.

Being perhaps the main characteristic, the ability to love God above all and others as you can love yourself. That would enclose all the other virtues, such as humility, justice, chastity, joy, etc.

Holiness is considered the goal of all who have received baptism and who base their lives on the teachings of Jesus Christ.

In the Bible this term refers to the righteousness, purity and greatness of God, this being the religious ideal that is offered and raised to believers and devotees.

Some religious indicate that the path to holiness is guided by the writings of the Bible, which serve as instructions for that.

Among the most relevant aspects we find: knowing how to forgive others for their offenses, practicing fasting, praying and recognizing the power that this practice has, staying away from temptations, being fair, not giving free rein to carnal desires, among other precepts. 

It is obvious then that everyone who wants to follow the path of holiness must study and put into practice the principles established in the Bible.

Rather, be holy in all that you do, just as he who called you is also holy; for it is written: “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16

According to Pope Francis

In the text Rejoice and rejoice (GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE) the third Apostolic Exhortation on what is holiness? and how to achieve it in the contemporary world, written by Pope Francis and signed in March 2018, emphasizes important points regarding this topic:

“ Rejoice and rejoice” (Mt 5,12 ), Jesus says to those who are persecuted or humiliated because of him. The Lord asks for everything, and what he offers is true life, the happiness for which we were created. He wants us to be saints and does not expect us to settle for a mediocre, watered-down, liquefied existence.

 Actually, from the first pages of the Bible, the call to holiness is present, in various ways.”  (Gen 17.1).

An Apostolic Exhortation is an official document made by the Pope and in this case it focuses on the call to holiness of all believers.

Well, as he himself says in the text, his objective in writing this exhortation is to clarify a little about what holiness is?, and to call for the constant search for it in this modern age:

“ My humble goal is to make the call to holiness resound once again, trying to incarnate it in the current context, with its risks, challenges and opportunities.

Because the Lord chose each one of us “so that we might be holy and blameless before him through love” (Eph 1:4)”.

Many of the aspects and points discussed in the text are in the Gospel and were a way of life for the first believers and followers of Jesus Christ, but over time they were left aside and practically forgotten.

GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE places great emphasis on some important points regarding holiness at this time, such as holiness and ordinary life, the Church as a living framework of holiness, among others.

What is holiness in ordinary life?

Ordinary life is what we call our day to day and the Pope speaks of all of us, each one of those days, being called to be Saints.

It is what he would say “common holiness”, because each one from their space and own history can with small details make a difference in the world.

Influencing others with our good deeds and changing the reality and history of the world.

We all count when it comes to initiating change and it is not about great heroic actions, because no small action equals mediocre holiness.

if not that from his little story, that of his daily life, influence others with his actions, to weave a true and better history of the world.

Holiness is not a unique and exclusive task of religious, in this document it emphasizes that we are all called to the path of holiness in our daily work, with family, friends, co-workers and even with those we do not know.

That is why the Pope speaks of living in holiness, even in the midst of imperfections and falls, through small and habitual gestures, carrying out what is considered ordinary in an extraordinary way.

Holiness in the Church

It makes a call to join the church, a people that incessantly seeks holiness, supporting each other as God’s family, even with errors or defects.

Holiness cannot be individualistic, it is a universal call, because the march towards heaven is done as a church, living holiness together, in solidarity, as an experience of fraternity and making the path to heaven light.

As a vocation-mission in Christ

The mission of all those who make up the church is to have the life of Christ as an example, to love as he loved and to give the best of themselves to God and to others.

That is why holiness is loving Christ and sharing his life as he did in his days on earth, forming part of the mission of the Church. Here are some important excerpts regarding holiness as a vocation and mission:

  • “Each saint is a mission” (GE 19).
  • “I am a mission on this earth, and for that I am in this world” (Evangelii gaudium, 273).
  • “Each one is called to give, to God and to others, “the best of oneself” (GE, 11)

The church makes a call to love all united to Christ, to love with his same unconditional love. Those who want to live in holiness must let themselves be carried away and progressively transformed by the grace and blessing of God.

open holiness

When he emphasizes that it is open holiness, he means that living in holiness does not open others, at the service of those around us, as Christ did.

Incorporating people into the Christian path, seeking happiness in giving happiness to others, serving and helping, according to Pope Francis never diminishes your strength, on the contrary, it gives life, joy, fulfillment, making us more human.

Holiness is an openness to God and those around us, therefore we should not shy away from service to others and try that our life project does not only contemplate our well-being.

“Don’t be afraid to aim higher, to let yourself be loved and freed by God. Do not be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit.

Holiness does not make you less human, because it is the meeting of your weakness with the strength of grace. Basically, as León Bloy said, in life there is only one sadness, that of not being saints” (GE 34).

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