Pope_Francis_among_the_people__2013“Let us be infected by the holiness of God.”  Pope Francis said this in a general audience in October 2013. With the Ebola epidemic spiraling out of control, the word “infected” takes on more import.  For our spiritual lives, too, the prayerful hope of Pope Francis should also take on more import. Are we infected by the holiness of God, or are we inoculated against God’s holiness by our culture marked by consumerism and individualism? Like so many saints before us, when God’s holiness gets into our bloodstream, we take on symptoms of charity and compassion. Our temperature rises to a new awareness of the rights of others and their need for justice. Unlike disease germs, God’s infection makes us strong, developing our resistance to temptation.

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