A former college classmate, and in a weird twist, later a parishioner of mine, Liz Schleicher recently reached out and asked me to contribute to a blog link up called, “#HolyPeople – A Celebration of Pentecost.” There’s no way I could turn down this inspiring, mom of two little ones, wife of a drummer, cancer survivor, great writer, faith filled friend.
Tell me the story of the holiest person you’ve ever met
At first the theologian in me wanted to overanalyze the question. As it turns out I wasn’t the only one of the writers with this problem.
What is holiness?
Then how we would determine who is the “holiest?” How do we define meeting someone? Is it to be in their presence? Shake their hand? Or actually developing a relationship with them?
Pope Francis recently reminded us in his exhortation, “Gaudete et Exsultate,” that holiness is a universal call, expressed in many different forms. In the history and present of the Church there are present a variety of spiritualities. Thus the holiest person is not necessarily the person who spends the most time in Adoration every day, nor the person who does the most sacrificial work. It’s about responding the call we have each received from God.
Furthermore, I often say the greatest thing about being a priest is that I get to meet so many people from all over the world, from so many different backgrounds etc. So how am I supposed to choose?
Lastly, I want to add that I think that this blog link up is a worthwhile exercise because sometimes we romanticize the saints to the point of missing the inspiring faithful right in front of us. No, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have devotion to the saints, nor should we turn living people, sinners like us, into saints before it’s too soon. Rather, we can have a healthy awe for those who do their best, even if imperfect, to respond to their particular call from God.
After thinking too much with my brain, I realized the answer to all of the above questions was simply to trust my gut…check back later this week to find out who I chose and why. (Here’s a hint as to where I met this person).
Also be sure to check out these other great writers as they too contribute to the #HolyPeople celebration.
- Joanna Wahlund of The Catholic Working Mother
- Leticia Adams of Through Broken Roses
- Jessica Archuleta of Every Home a Monastery
- Rita Buettner of the Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Review’s Open Window blog
- And of course Liz Schleicher at St. Dymphna’s Daughter
Feel free to join in and make sure you link back to Liz’s post.