The goal of the Christian life is to become a people among whom the Holy One dwells. For Christians, holiness can only be achieved through a relationship with Jesus. Donna Orsuto begins by examining the Hebrew Scriptures and showing how the concept of holiness is intimately intertwined with the idea of God, who is "Wholly Other" and transcendent, and yet paradoxically calls us into intimacy. Both individuals and the Church are "temples" where God dwells. Although there are common characteristics of holiness, there are also many diverse ways of being holy. The sacraments, prayer and reflection on the word of God have traditionally been seen as ways of opening oneself up to the Holy One and of embracing one's responsibility as a Christian in society. Orsuto offers a contemporary Christian understanding of holiness and considers topics such as the uniqueness of Christian holiness in a multi-faith society, the use and abuse of psychology in the quest for Christian holiness, and the dilemma of how the "one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church" can also be in need of reform.
Donna Orsuto is Professor of Spiritual Theology at the Gregorian University in Rome. She is the founder, and a member of a lay religious community in Rome. She was born in the USA and is a US citizen.
Laying the foundation: insights from the Bible - Many mansions: exploring Holiness through the centuries - Ordinary maintenance for an extraordinary dwelling: sacraments, sacramentals and other means of growth in Holiness - Looking at the floor plans: towards a contemporary Christian understanding of Holiness - The Expansion project: Holiness in the twenty-first century