A Training Ground of Holiness

Continuing the reflection on vision for the parish, what is meant by the parish as a training ground of holiness? John Paul II said that when we bring a person for baptism, and we ask, “What do you ask of the church?”, the answer could be very simply “holiness.” What is holiness? One of the saints in the Catholic tradition called it “aligning our will with God’s will.” Another way to describe holiness is “love.”. The more we love God and others, we grow in holiness. The end of holiness is love. How do we grow in holiness? St. Paul spoke about growing in holiness through the renewal of our mind (Romans 12:2). As our minds are being touched by the word of God in Sacred Scripture, we change. At the heart of this change is repentance. We turn away from thoughts, behavior and attitudes that are contrary to the word of God. For the parish to be a “training ground in holiness” would be for the parish to be a place where the Sacred Scriptures are taught with the goal of transformation. Each member is called to holiness. Each member is to be transformed.