(Vatican City, April 9th, 2018). Pope Francis has written his third Apostolic Exhortation, this time about the call to holiness. It follows on the Pope’s two previous exhortations: Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) in 2013; and Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) in 2016.
Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad) is distinct in three ways: it is addressed directly to each reader – with the personal word “you” -, it uses ordinary accessible language, and it has a simple and practical structure. The video that accompanies its launch highlights some of the main aspects of the document in very direct, simple words and images.
“My modest goal is to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities”, Pope Francis declares in the first lines of Gaudete et Exsultate.
The document of five chapters begins with a review and reminder about what the call to holiness means. Holiness is definitely not a path only for religious or consecrated persons, but for all, for each and every one. The Pope touches the hearts of all: of housewives and professionals, and manual workers and students, scientists and peasants, athletes and professors. “We have ‘such a huge cloud of witnesses’ who encourage us not to stop on the road, but to keep walking towards the goal”, says the Holy Father. “And among them we may find our own mother, a grandmother or other close relatives”.
The remaining chapters focus on ways of living holiness, for which Jesus gives the keys through the Beatitudes. In addition, they highlight different human virtues, such as patience, meekness, joy, inner struggle and a sense of humor, which are also signs of holiness.
The text also points to dangers, to “a constant struggle against the devil, the prince of evil”. But the Pope maintains a positive and hopeful attitude: “Along this journey, the cultivation of all that is good, progress in the spiritual life and growth in love are the best counterbalance to evil. The path of holiness is a source of peace and joy, given to us by the Spirit”. Download Gaudete et Exsultate (copied)