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Posts Tagged ‘Growth’

“People are not born holy. Holiness is forged.”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2014/03/28 at 12:00 AM
Everything in which we poor men have a part–even holiness–is a fabric of small trifles which, depending upon one’s intention, can form a magnificent tapestry of heroism or of degradation, of virtues or of sins. The epic legends always relate extraordinary adventures, but never fail to mix them with homely details about the hero.–May you always attach great importance to the little things. This is the way! (The Way, 826)

The main thing we are asked to do, which is so much in keeping with our nature, is to love: ‘charity is the bond of perfection’ [1]; a charity that is to be practised exactly as Our Lord himself commands: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind’ [2], holding back nothing for ourselves. This is what sanctity is all about.

Certainly our goal is both lofty and difficult to attain. But please do not forget that people are not born holy. Holiness is forged through a constant interplay of God’s grace and the correspondence of man. As one of the early Christian writers says, referring to union with God, ‘Everything that grows begins small. It is by constant and progressive feeding that it gradually grows big.’ So I say to you, if you want to become a thorough‑going Christian — and I know you are willing, even though you often find it difficult to conquer yourself or to keep climbing upwards with this poor body of ours — then you will have to be very attentive to the minutest of details, for the holiness that Our Lord demands of you is to be achieved by carrying out with love of God your work and your daily duties, and these will almost always consist of small realities. (Friends of God, 6-7)

[1] Col 3:14
[2] Matt 22:37

“May I never become attached to anything”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/08/01 at 9:11 AM
Ask the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and your Mother, to make you know yourself and weep for all those foul things that have passed through you, and which, alas, have left such dregs behind…. And at the same time, without wishing to stop considering all that, say to him: Jesus, give me a Love that will act like a purifying fire in which my miserable flesh, my miserable heart, my miserable soul, my miserable body may be consumed and cleansed of all earthly wretchedness. And when I have been emptied of myself, fill me with yourself. May I never become attached to anything here below. May Love always sustain me. (The Forge, 41)

The Lord listens to us. He wants to intervene and enter our lives to free us from evil and fill us with good. “I will rescue him and honour him” [1], he says of man. So we must hope for glory. Here again we have the beginning of the interior movement that makes up our spiritual life. Hope of glory increases our faith and fosters our charity; the three theological virtues, godly virtues which make us like our Father God, have been set in motion.

We cannot stay still. We must keep going ahead toward the goal St Paul marks out: “It is not I who live; it is Christ that lives in me” [2]. This is a high and very noble ambition, this identification with Christ, this holiness. But there is no other way if we are to be consistent with the divine life God has sown in our souls in baptism. To advance we must progress in holiness. Shying away from holiness implies refusing our christian life its natural growth. The fire of God’s love needs to be fed. It must grow each day, gathering strength in our soul; and a fire is maintained by burning more things. If we don’t feed it, it may die. (Christ is passing by, 57-58)

[1] Ps 90:15
[2] Gal 2:20