When I was a boy holiness was a mystery to me. I knew Jesus, Mary and the saints to be holy because they prayed a lot and never did anything wrong. As far as I could understand it this special way of life was the privilege of priests and nuns. For the rest of us we simply had to struggle along as best we could in our efforts to be good. If clergy and religious were all gold medal contenders, we were very much the ‘no hopers’ who struggled to make the final. But what is holiness? Perhaps this is one of the things we can pray about and read up on during Lent. In my adult life I have realised that holiness is for everyone to strive for. ‘Be holy, as I am holy,’ God tells his people (Leviticus 11:44). Jesus instructs his followers in the following way, ‘Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect’ (Matthew 5:48). The Catechism tells us that all are called to holiness.
I began by saying how holiness was a mystery to me when I was younger because it was beyond me, but the more we desire to be close to Christ, the more we are drawn into intimate relationship and mystical union with Him and then into the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Everyone’s invited, everyone can be a winner.