Interesting question! It might be understood as asking for all those who would like to be holy to hold up their hands; or it could be a disparaging rhetorical question implying that only a fool would want to be holy. Our individual replies will depend upon our understanding of holiness; desirable or repugnant.
I suspect that lots of people are afraid of holiness, largely because they see it as an extreme lifestyle, like that of a hermit, a mystic or an ancient stylite sitting on a pillar. There were, of course, holy men and women among the hermits, mystics and the stylites. They included people like Saint Romuald, St. Catherine of Siena and St. Simeon. But, that is not the holiness to which most us are called.
We, for the most part, are called to a quotidian holiness, a holiness that is lived out every day, not in a monastery, or a hermitage or on top of a pillar, but in our home, our office, our school, our market, in our neighborhood, and with our families.
Holiness is not spectacular. Pope Francis says it is often anonymous. It is not a performance in a public square but more often a hidden victory in our heart. Holiness is a journey. For most of us it is a slow labyrinthine trek through the vagaries of life.
In the words of Pope Francis, “Holiness is a journey; holiness cannot be bought. It can’t be sold. It cannot be given away. Holiness is a journey to God’s presence that I must make: no one else can do it in my name. I can pray for someone to be holy, but he’s the one who has to work towards [holiness], not me. Walk in God’s presence, in an impeccable way.”
I call holiness quotidian because it is composed of the little things of daily life. In the Holy Father’s words, “If you’re able to not speak ill of another, you’re on the right path to becoming saintly. Little things … ‘I want to criticize a neighbor, a workmate’: bite your tongue. The tongue will swell a bit, but your spirit will be holier on this journey. Nothing grand, mortification: no, it’s simple. The path to holiness is simple. Do not go back, but always moving forward, right? And with fortitude.”
Now! Who wants to be holy?
This post is also available in/Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish