What does it mean to be holy?


We are all called to be holy…

What exactly does it mean to be holy?


Holy covers a lot of territory. Let us start out small, one meaning of the word holy is “set aside”. A dish used in the Mass is holy because it has been set aside for use in the Mass which is the perfect prayer, the perfect sacrifice with it’s infinite merit and grace. Israel was a holy people (not because of their righteousness) because God set them apart for Himself. We are called to be holy, one meaning of that call is that we be set aside for God’s use, hence the references to the Holy Sisters and the Holy Father. Yes, these people are righteous, but they are also set aside for God’s use, consecrated for His purpose.


Holiness is a divine characteristic. By grace we are transformed into His body. This is why Scripture says “Be holy as your heavenly Father is holy.” (Mt 5:48)

It may help to see the Church’s use of the term throughout the Catechism. Link here.




St. Thomas Aquinas defines holiness as “that virtue by which a man’s mind applies itself and all its acts to God.”

Here’s what our Popes had to say about holiness:

“Holiness does not consist in not making mistakes or never sinning. Holiness grows with capacity for conversion, repentance, willingness to begin again, and above all with the capacity for reconciliation and forgiveness.” – Cardinal Ratzinger

“True holiness does not mean a flight from the world; rather, it lies in the effort to incarnate the Gospel in everyday life, in the family, at school and at work, and in social and political involvement.” --Pope JPII


My dear friend

You only need one thing to be holy. Be in grace. More grace makes you more holy.

God bless you:thumbsup::slight_smile:




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