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“Rejoice and be glad!,” Pope Francis’ new (third) apostolic exhortation, was published yesterday. It's about holiness in everyday life. How can we respond? Here are five takeaways from Francis’ very practical exhortation.

1. Holiness means being yourself
Every believer is meant to “discern his or her our own path” and “bring out the very best of themselves.”
2. Everyday life can lead to holiness
It doesn’t have to mean big, dramatic actions: a loving parent raising a child; as well as “small gestures” and sacrifices that one can make, like deciding not to pass on gossip. If you can see your own life as a “mission,” then you soon realize that you can simply be loving and kind to move towards holiness.
On the other hand, you do not want to be caught up in the “rat race” of rushing from one thing to another. A balance between action and contemplation is essential.
3. Two tendencies to avoid: Gnosticism and Pelagianism
Gnosticism is to know. It's an old heresy that says that what matters most is what you know. All you need is the correct intellectual approach. Today Gnosticism tempts us to make the faith “entirely comprehensible” to want to force others to adopt our way of thinking.
Pelagianism says that we can take care of our salvation through our own efforts. Pelagians trust in their own powers, don’t feel like they need God’s grace and act superior to others because they observe certain rules.
4. Be kind
Pope Francis’ trademark practical advice for living a life of holiness: don’t gossip, stop judging, stop being cruel. Online “defamation and slander can become commonplace since things can be said there that would be unacceptable in public discourse, as people look to compensate for their own discontent by lashing out at others. In claiming to uphold other commandments, they completely ignore the eighth, which forbids bearing false witness or lying and ruthlessly vilifying others.”
5. The Beatitudes are a roadmap.
The 8 Beatitudes are what Jesus himself means by holiness:  being poor in spirit, meek, peacemakers, to hunger and thirst for righteousness, and especially,seeing and acting with mercy.”


what do you know
i guess i must be "holy"
even if my discernment led to a very different path
my beloved husband was certainly holy!

my work let me see the troubles of others
i hope i have done what i could
with what has been given to me
my mind, my time, my energy

Wonderful words of Francis!!!
He is truly one of the great Popes.