In Gaudete et Exsultate, Pope Francis’ enthusiasm for holiness (a subject not given much attention in today’s world) brims over in language that is vibrant, simple and attractive. Is it true to say that there lurks in many of us, even the most committed, a suspicion that holiness, desirable though we know it to be, is a solemn undertaking, humourless perhaps? Perhaps we nurse a secret fear that it will sap our energy and lead us into a dutiful but joyless way of living …

Pope Francis paints altogether different picture: “Do not be afraid of holiness,” he says. “It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy. On the contrary, you will become what the Father had in mind when he created you, and you will be faithful to your deepest self” (§32).

() Holiness