By Roxane B. Salonen


“And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor,
to be with you for ever,” ~ John 14:16

Being ‘set apart’ is a mission with eternal significance or Being ‘set apart’ means guarding those in our care

Recently, a friend and I were discussing the difficulties of being faithful Catholics now. She’d recently challenged an adult son who’d been allowing his children to watch worldly TV programs. “They’re going to confront it eventually,” he’d responded. 

“He has one foot in his faith, the other in the world,” she told me, indicating her son’s acquiescence to the culture.

She’s right to be concerned, for God has set us apart for a purpose that carries eternal significance. Stepping into this most glorious call means not succumbing to worldly ways, even when they seem innocuous. 

Jesus knew the weight of this and promised worthy assistance: “…I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to be with you forever.” (John 14:16)

Being set apart is not a punishment

As uncomfortable as it might feel at times, we Christians have been given the greatest mission imaginable “…in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

God chose this for us, and not guarding ourselves, and those in our care will leave us all ill-equipped when we face the world’s harmful encroachment. 

In a May 2022 commencement speech, Mary Eberstadt told a fresh crop of Catholic college graduates that as young people entering the world at this “momentous time,” the world needs “the fruits” of their “extraordinary educations.”

First and foremost, she said, they’re needed “to be witnesses to beauty and to truth, in an age when these precious commodities are grossly undervalued…” We all share this calling.

Practicing and living our being “set apart” should not be viewed as punishment but as a gift to our loved ones and the world. Let us not squander this gift by conforming to worldly ways, no matter how enticing.



Come Holy Spirit, help us face the world with bravery and love, never compromising what we know to be good, true, and beautiful.

Call to Action

How might you empower the young people in your care or circle of influence to see the call by God to be set apart not as something to dread but as a noble, eternal mission to help bring salvation to the world?


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