On the Way to Sanctity

Father Nicolás Schwizer shares insights on how achieve your lifetime goal: Holiness.
by Father Nicolás Schwizer | Source: Schoenstatt Press

To be a saint means to be rooted in two worlds. What is most decisive is belonging to the other world, to be a person from heaven. To see the process of our interior growth, we have to see our life from the aspect of its goal: sanctity. There are laws of progression and laws of regression in our spiritual life. The question is whether we are under the influence of the laws of progression or regression.

Laws of progression. Father Joseph Kentenich, founder of the Schoenstatt movement, names two laws of progression: unhappy with oneself and courage to begin each day anew.

1. Thrive to perfection until the end. If we truly want to become persons open to heaven, then we will be unhappy with ourselves forever. It is not about anxious or paralyzing unhappiness, rather it is about unhappiness which is an impulse and a stimulus to continue striving. It means that we have a high ideal before our eyes. It means that we have not been able to reach it yet. The distance between the ideal and the reality continues being great. Let us recall a phrase from Father Kentenich: “The one I am sadly greets the one I should be.” A permanent restlessness remains. From a psychological viewpoint, it means that there is a deep longing within us. If we are men and women of desire, in the same measure, we will be men and women of fulfillment.

2. Born again daily. If we cultivate the desire within us, it manifests itself in the second law of progression: The courage to be anew each day. It is not easy to get up with renewed enthusiasm after each fall. Neither is it easy to overlook personal defeats and deceptions. It requires leaving behind the past and looking toward the future. It demands getting one’s bearings anew on the ideals which mark my way toward perfection.

Father Kentenich says that beginning to aspire and striving each day anew is already sanctity. Saint Francis of Assisi said on his deathbed: “It is time for us to begin anew because in reality we have not yet begun.”

Perhaps each one would have to ask oneself: Is the desire for the high ideal of sanctity still alive in my heart? In spite of the failures and disappointments, does that desire renew itself and even grow in my life? Do I feel I have the enthusiasm and the sufficient strength to begin anew the battle to begin each day?

Laws of regression. Among the laws of regression in the spiritual life, we can especially name one which we should take very seriously. It is the state or spirit of boredom.

Boredom. What is understood by boredom? It is a state of indifference or being used to sin. It is not about committing this or that sin, rather it is a form of habitually “swallowing” sin without fighting it or worrying about it. Boredom is then a state of immobility or a moral-religious illness.

What are the causes for this state of boredom? According to experience, the main cause is spiritual-religious malnourishment. What does Father Kentenich understand by it? For him, spiritual malnourishment is the lack of cultivation of the religious life, the lack of cultivation of religious attitudes and practices. In concrete terms, it is about the neglect, contempt or failure to keep our sacramental life, our prayer life, our life of Consecration to the Virgin Mary. These become evident because of the insignificant reasons why we keep ourselves from fulfilling our call to sainthood or we fulfill it only half way. We then seek to justify ourselves. All of this in spite of our solid understanding that we are to rake the road to sanctity.

Here is a tip to be more Christlike: Put together a Home Shrine or  Schoenstatt Corner, have the picture of the Virgin Mary in our home, a Bible easily accessible for all in the household, and make a point to spend a few minutes daily praying in there as a family.

Questions for Meditation
1. Which law am I under?
2. How am I doing with my sacramental life?
3. Am I faithful in attending Sunday Mass, could I attend daily Mass?

If you wish to subscribe, comment on the text or give your testimony, write to: pn.reflexiones@gmail.com

Translation: Carlos Cantú
Edited by: Catholic.net

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