Rejoice and celebrate
The Pope’s latest Apostolic letter, Guadete et Exsultate, Rejoice and be Glad, is one to bring great hope to everyone, so says Gerry O’Hanlon, an Irish Jesuit theologian in Rome. In it, Pope Francis reminds all Christians of their call to be holy and that the person next door might be a saint. It looks at everyday ways in which people can achieve holiness, such as avoiding gossip or listening to others with love and attention. Gerry says that it is also radical – in a secular age, it calls for the whole of ones life to be dedicated to being a holier person, but to do it with attention and care rather than pomp and ceremony – indeed he explicitly says these will not help of bring you closer to God. The letter shows Pope Francis’ particular devotion to the Beatitudes and looks at how they can light a way to live, while also being the first Pope to draw attention to the virtues of a sense of humour! Gerry explains more to Pat Coyle.