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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Simple Guide to Pope Francis' New Apostolic Exhortation "Rejoice and be glad" - a Call to Holiness for Everyone! SHARE

Apostolic Exhortation (Adhortatio apostolica) – An apostolic exhortation is a formal instruction issued by a pope to a community, urging some specific activity. Lower in import than an encyclical or apostolic letter, an exhortation does not define doctrine. (Source: Law.edu)
The title, “Rejoice and be glad,” from the Latin “Gaudete et Exultate.” This document explains the call to holiness in the world today for everyone. 
WHAT IS NEW?
Pope Francis explains that he wants “to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities.”
 Pope Francis combines the tradition of new institutions that emerged in the 20th century and were recognized by the Second Vatican Council. It goes one step further by explaining how to live out the Christian proposal in the current world. 
He reminds us of the importance of the Laity:
“to be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or a religious. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, where we find ourselves.”
Holiness Around Us
Pope Francis suggests looking at examples of saints around us, “those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile.”

Where to find Holiness
Pope Francis emphasizes  holiness through the Beatitudes. According to St. Matthew, “I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you invited me in; I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.”
He warns of the danger of separating faith from good activity. We must maintain a relationship with God and promote this relationship through our good works. 

5 Ways to Be Catholic Today
The Pontiff gives 5 ways to express of love for God and neighbor:
Perseverance, patience and meekness.
Joy and a sense of humor.
Boldness and passion.
(To encounter others) in community.
Constant prayer.
Warning of the Power of Evil and the Devil 
“Hence, we should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable. The devil does not need to possess us. He poisons us with the venom of hatred, desolation, envy and vice. When we let down our guard, he takes advantage of it to destroy our lives, our families and our communities. 'Like a roaring lion, he prowls around, looking for someone to devour.'”
He concludes by remembering that holiness “has to do with the meaning of my life before the Father, who knows and loves me, with the real purpose of my life, that nobody knows better than He.”

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