You might have read that Pope Francis has written a new document. The type of document he released this week was an Apostolic Exhortation. An Apostolic Exhortation is a papal reflection on a particular topic which is intended to be read by all the faithful. We know that Pope Francis’ appeal goes far beyond Catholics and I anticipate this will be true of his new document. The document is called, Gaudete et Exultate (Rejoice and be Glad). It’s quite a lengthy document so it will take any reader some time to digest all the insights. One thing I would like to share in my early stages of reading “Rejoice and be Glad” is what Pope Francis beautifully calls “middle class of holiness”.
Here is the short section where Pope Francis makes reference to “middle class of holiness”.
Another way I think you could phrase this concept is what I would call “neighbourhood holiness” and I think it is evident in our parishes: “I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile. In their daily perseverance I see the holiness of the Church militant. Very often it is a holiness found in our next- door neighbours, those who, living in our midst, reflect God’s presence. We might call them the middle class of holiness”.