Mother Angelica’s Basic Guide to Holiness

Holiness in a Nutshell

To be changed is conversion.
To be transformed is Holiness.

Who Is Called to Be Holy?

All men, women and children of every age, in every state of life, condition, talent and profession.

You are called to holiness.

Be holy in all you do, since it is the Holy One who has called you, and scripture says, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:15-16)


This article is from Mother Angelica’s Guide to Practical Holiness. Click image to preview.

Because God loves you!

You are precious to Him.

You belong to Him.

He loved you before time began. He is your Father.

You need Him.

He wants you to be like Him — holy.

We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he had meant us to live it. (Eph. 2:10)


Now! Today — at this moment. His grace is sufficient for you.

At a favorable time, I have listened to you, on the day of salvation I came to your help. Well, now is the favorable time; this is the day of salvation. (2 Cor. 6:2)

Where Can I Be Holy?

  • At home
  • At work
  • At rest
  • At school
  • In a crowd, alone, in your family, in prison, in the ghetto.

Everywhere you can be holy.

Whatever you eat, whatever you drink, whatever you do at all, do it for the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31)

Is It Possible?

Yes, Jesus will bear fruit in you if you cooperate with His Grace. Grace comes with repentance, Confession, Communion, prayer, Sacraments, Scripture, Good Works — love, faith and hope.

We are only earthenware jars that hold this treasure, to make it clear that such an overwhelming power comes from God and not from us. (2 Cor. 4:7)

Is It Really for Me?

Yes, holiness is for you. It is not for specially chosen souls. Holiness is for ordinary people who accomplish God’s Will with joy, in faith and in trust.

The temple of God is sacred; and you are that temple. (1 Cor. 3:17)

What Must I Do?

Be faithful to your state in life — married, single, religious, student.

Be faithful to Holy Mother Church — Precepts, Sacra­ments, Commandments, Doctrine, Teaching.

Read the Word of God and other spiritual reading.

Follow the Beatitudes — the Blueprint for holiness. Be loving and concerned.

Let Jesus shine through you. Pray.

Fill your minds with everything that is true, everything that is noble, everything that is good and pure. (Phil. 4:8)

What Are Some Practical Suggestions?

  1. See God in the present moment.
  2. Turn every disagreeable situation to the good of your soul.
  3. Adapt yourself to your neighbor’s temperament.
  4. Be united to God’s Will.
  5. Choose God above yourself.
  6. Imitate Jesus.
  7. Visit Jesus in the Eucharist often.
  8. Practice virtue.
  9. Frequent the Sacraments.
  10. Try to be aware of His Presence.

Each of us should think of our neighbors and help them to become stronger Christians. (Rom. 15:2

Where Is My Strength?

In the Father’s mercy

In the Precious Blood of Jesus

In the power of the Spirit

In the intercession of Mary, our Mother

In the protection of the angels

In the Eucharist

In His Cross.

May Our Lord Jesus Himself and God our Father, who has given us His love, and through His grace, such in­exhaustible comfort and such sure hope, comfort you and strengthen you in everything good that you do or say. (2 Thess. 2:16-17)

Will I See Results?

Yes, in more harmony at home

More patience with your neighbor

More strength to overcome weaknesses

More compassion for others

More mercy

More joy

Peace in the midst of turmoil.

What the Spirit brings is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23)

Where Is My Continuing Source of Holiness?

  • His Love — His Grace
  • His Church — His Word
  • His Spirit — His Power
  • His Sacraments — His Presence
  • His Cross — His Resurrection

For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him. (John 6:56)

How Long Will It Take?

From moment to moment, from prayer to prayer, from day to day.

Not that I have become perfect yet: I have not yet won, but I am still running, trying to capture the prize for which Christ Jesus captured me. I am far from thinking I have already won. All I can say is that I forget the past and I strain ahead for what is still to come. (Phil. 3:12-16)


  • To be like Jesus
  • To love my neighbor like Jesus does
  • To be loyal to His Church
  • To spread the Good News
  • To be Holy

I have made you a light for the nations, so that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth. (Acts 13:47)

Editor’s note: This article is from Mother Angelica’s Guide to Practical Holinesswhich is available from Sophia Institute Press. Find some of her other writings here on Catholic Exchange

Avatar photo


Mother Angelica (1923-2016) was a Franciscan nun and founder of Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). She remains one of the most popular figures and personalities on Catholic television as well as a powerful witness for Christ.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage