Friday, January 24, 2014

“Holiness consists simply in doing God's will, and being just what God wants us to be.”

“Holiness is only revealed to us by degrees, as we journey on, and it is often something very different from what we imagine, so much so that the greatest obstacle on the path to holiness may be to cling too closely to the image we have of our own perfection.” – Fr. Jacques Philippe (In the School of Holy Spirit)

Gospel Text: (MK 3:13-19)
Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted
and they came to him.
He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles,
that they might be with him
and he might send them forth to preach
and to have authority to drive out demons:
He appointed the Twelve:
Simon, whom he named Peter;
James, son of Zebedee,
and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges,
that is, sons of thunder;
Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew,
Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus;
Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean,
and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

And what does God require of those He calls?

He asks us to live close to him as we serve him, and in return, He promises to stay close to us. Yet, God speaks to each one of us individually and specifically. This is a blessing, but it is a blessing that can only be fully realized when we become holy through our willingness to serve, through prayer, and through the blessed sacraments. The second Vatican council speaks to this idea «All faithful Christians, of any kind and condition, are called to the plenitude of Christian life and to the perfection of charity; a sanctity that, also in our earthly society, contributes to humanize our way of life»

But what is holiness? Holiness means to be “set apart” – to be set apart from worldly things for spiritual things. In other words, to be set apart for God. Holiness should remind us that we are destined to eternal life, the kingdom of heaven, and should not set our hearts on the passing things of this world.

We need to remember that personal holiness is not only good for us; it is good for those around us. Holiness is like a sweet-smelling perfume that fills a room. Mother Teresa had a simple definition: "True holiness consists in doing God's will with a smile."

In our Catholic tradition holiness is faith in action, rolling up one’s sleeves, wading right into the muck of our world, not only to make one’s own life more abundant, but making the whole world a more blessed place.

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