Extraordinary Holiness in the Ordinary

St. Josemaría Escrivá is the saint of everyday holiness. Indeed, St. John Paul II called him “the saint of ordinary life” for his message that holiness and sainthood are attainable by all the faithful. St. Josemaría taught that such everyday holiness could allow countless people to meet God right where they were.

This call to holiness is attainable! We sometimes balk at this. Sure, we know it’s the teachings of our faith, but it can seem the mother of all longshots. Even a few years ago, I would likely wince at the notion of universal holiness. I’d think, Well, sure, if that’s true, then why is the world falling apart? War, corruption, death, etc.—if holiness is so easy, then why is the world so bad?

Of course, as St. Josemaría has taught me, holiness is never easy. It’s a high goal, to be sure, but it’s also something we can obtain. It’s going to be a lifetime of effort. It’s definitely going to hurt and require sacrifice. But the path to holiness can do more than lead us to everlasting joy: it can change the world.

As St. Josemaría preaches,

In order to bring peace, genuine peace, to souls; in order to transform the earth and to seek God Our Lord in the world and through the things of the world, personal sanctity is indispensable.

Our world could use a lot of that genuine peace. While we may not be able to solve many (or any) of the world’s problems, we can bring a joyful holiness into our own lives and the lives of our neighbors.

Here are some lessons on holiness from St. Josemaría Escrivá that I’ve found helpful and transforming in my own life. I hope they encourage you to read this holy priest’s work, but I also hope you’ll take these lessons to heart and go out to change and shape the world.

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