As many of you know, Pope Francis announced on July 5 that JP2 and Bl. John XXIII will soon be canonized.
I recently read a biography about the life of Pope John XXIII (Angelo Roncalli). The book was filled with beautiful and interesting stories about his life. One that struck me in a particular way was about his niece Enrica. She was in the convent for a little over a year, fell ill and had to withdraw. When he heard this, he wrote her a note, knowing that she was having difficulty being back in the world.
“My dear niece Enrica, a word for you alone. You have already shed enough tears. Shed no more but be happy and content in the Lord. If the Lord requires something else of you he will make his voice heard clearly and loudly. Holiness consists not in penances and extraordinary practices but in seeking in all things the Lord’s will, in obedience and humility.” (“I Will Be Called John” by Lawrence Elliott, page 156)
Enrica later said “his letter made it possible for me to accept myself.” I find the last part such a great reminder that God is calling us to holiness here and now. Many people think that one has to go to the convent/monastery/etc. in order to be holy. But if God has brought you back to the world (even if it’s for a short time), it is because this is part of the path to holiness for you.
St. Josemaria Escriva was a strong proponent of holiness in daily life, and that is the purpose of Opus Dei (which he founded). If you haven’t heard of it, I would encourage you to learn more!
If you are having a hard time adjusting, I would encourage you to ask the intercession of Bl. John XXIII, St. Josemaria Escriva and Leonie Martin.
Here is a newly approved prayer to Leonie:
Dear Leonie our Sister,
You have already intervened with God on our behalf,
and we would like to be able to pray to you officially,
so that many more might know you.
Come to the aid of parents who risk losing a child,
as you nearly died at a very young age.
Continue to uphold the families
where different generations have problems living together in peace.
Enlighten youth who question their future and hesitate to commit.
Show to all the way of prayer
which permits you to bear your limitations and your difficulties with confidence,
and to give yourself to others.
Lord, if such is your will,
deign to accord us the grace that we ask of you
through the intercession of your servant Leonie,
and inscribe her among the number of the venerable of your Church.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Imprimatur: March 25, 2012
Bishop of Bayeux-Lisieux
Well, that really boils the whole matter down nicely, doesn’t it! ?
It’s so simple. And yet so true. That’s really all there is to it: Holiness is remaining in His will.