Thursday, November 02, 2006

It's the Feast of All Saints! Woohoo!

This is yet another day, and there are many of them in the Church's calendar, when the "universal call to holiness" beeps in and says "Hello, are you there? Answer me." Holiness, sheesh... I'll just let that one go to voicemail. Heard it all before anyway. Being holy means I lose my individuality and get subsumed into a big mass of people who are all good with nice haircuts and see the bright side of things all the time, like Ned Flanders. Well, that ain't me. Some things just get me angry, or frustrated. Sometimes I doubt. Sometimes I'm afraid I could never reach such high standards. Sometimes I just want to be silly, goof off. Sometimes I just want to be me. I mean, I'm only human.

Well, to be human should mean to be holy.

"The glory of God," St. Irenaeus says, "is man fully alive." Do we know what this even looks like? We've been duped and the devil has distorted what it means to be holy.

The odor of sanctity has the tang of the sea in it, and beneath it's billowing surface are a thousand varied visages, of beings bright and beautiful, deep and mysterious, as lucid and light as polished glass.

The ones who let holiness wash over and into them find not an anesthetic that numbs all feeling but an invigorating draught that awakens the mind to Truth! It's completeness, fulfillment, fullness! It's the way I ought to be, it's the posture of standing up, when all around me souls are bent. It's hearing my own true name, after decades of muffled whispers. A few thoughts from Father Cantalamessa on Holiness, spoken in Rome just yesterday:

"Holiness does not reside in the hands, but in the heart; it is not decided outside but within man, and it is summarized in charity.

The mediators of God's holiness are no longer places (the Temple of Jerusalem or the Mountain of the Beatitudes), rites, objects or laws, but a person, Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ is the very holiness of God that comes to us in person.... Mother Teresa was right when a journalist asked her point-blank how she felt being acclaimed as being holy around the world, and she answered: "Holiness is not a luxury; it is a necessity."

Holiness is what we were made for, anything less is, in a certain sense, sub-human. For we were made for the Seventh Day, created to walk into the Sabbath with our Father. To stay behind is to be numbered with the beasts. When Christ called his followers to this Oneness with him in the Eucharist, many turned aside and no longer walked with him. That gospel verse? John 6:66.

Lord, help us answer the call! Make us holy! Make us saints!

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