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😇 Example of Holiness

September 20, 2023
Blessed Solanus Casey
Father Solanus serving at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen.

By Br. George Kooran, OFM Cap.

In many respects Father Solanus was a man ahead of his times. He constantly spoke and wrote about holiness. The Vatican Council II, rightly explained that all the faithful are called to holiness. We read St. Peter in his letter quoting the Old Testament: “Be holy for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16).

Many people speak about holiness. But, what exactly is holiness? Is it purity or chastity? Pope Pius XI wrote: “Holiness does not consist in extraordinary things, but in doing things in an extraordinary way.” I think in the words of Fr. Solanus there is a lot of clarity: “We must be faithful to the present moment or we will frustrate the plan of God for our lives.” So, in his words, there is the emphasis on the response one has to make in the present moment as well as on the importance of seeking the plan (will) of God. The Council said that it’s growing in the perfection of charity; each one living one’s life in every moment and that it is a gift that is received.

Recently Pope Francis said: “We cannot achieve holiness on our own. No, it is a grace. Being good, being saintly, going every day a little step forward in the Christian life is a grace of God and we have to ask for it.” I think that explains it a little more. Knowing that we are all called by God to holiness, we must desire to fall in love with God in the first place, pray for it and perfect the love in us day by day.

Fr. Solanus and saints like him are God’s special gifts to us. God gifted them with holiness and they even in their own weaknesses cooperated with God’s gift to a certain degree.

If we can leave ourselves into the hands of God, or in other words we make God our priority, the rest is going to be God’s activity: the gift of holiness.

In the next fortnight or so, we celebrate holiness expressed in a variety of ways.

9/21 – St. Matthew, the Apostle
9/22 – St. Ignatius of Santhia, Capuchin
9/23 – St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, Capuchin
9/24 – St. Gerard Segredo, Apostle of Hungary
9/25 – St. Sergius of Moscow
9/26 – Sts. Cosmas and Damian, martyred in Syria
9/27 – St. Vincent de Paul (Paris)
9/28 – St. Lawrenzo Ruiz & companions, (Philipino) martyred in Japan
9/29 – Sts. Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, the Archangels
9/30 – St. Jerome, priest, Doctor of the Church
10/1 – St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church
10/2 – The Holy Guardian Angels
10/3 – St. Theodore Guerin, Indiana, USA
10/4 – St. Francis of Assisi

What wonderful gifts we are endowed with!

These flowers grow all over the World!

Indeed, such a great cloud of witnesses! (Heb. 12:1)

May they intercede for us.

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