Lord Jesus, you became a man in order to show me, in your own flesh and blood, the way to holiness. In every word and deed of yours recorded in the Gospel, you teach me and reveal to me the secret of a life worthy of eternity. I believe that you are with me now, and that you will use these moments of prayer to increase my faith, hope and love.
Here I am, Lord, to know, love and serve you with all my heart. Let me experience your sanctifying presence. Allow me to enter into your intimacy. Open my heart to share my deepest aspirations with you, and to surrender to you now, my life, my works, my heart, my mind, all that I have and all that I am. Make me a faithful disciple, Lord, and make me holy, for the Church and for the salvation of all my brothers and sisters. Amen.
Lord, help me to seek holiness out of love for you and others. in this meditation, allow me to think and hope and dream with a new audacity about all that I can do for you when I am aided by your grace. Give me a keener understanding of what I need to do in order to be more holy. Inspire me with greater interior understanding of who I can become for you and for your Church when I trust in you without fear, when I conform my own judgment and will more perfectly to your will in every present moment. Amen.
1. “Be Perfect.” Who is telling us to be
Christ the Word, he through whom all things were made, through whom we came into being, our Lord, our Creator, who from all eternity longs to see each one of us be made perfect in love. This is not a suggestion; it is a command. He says it to his disciples with energy, even knowing that for them alone it is impossible. For God, though, nothing is impossible.
We are reminded today that our saintliness is a possibility; it is God’s plan. Miracles happen when we believe. God is not through with any one of us yet. All God asks is that we be perfect –not a whole life in one fell swoop– but, rather, every present moment, one at a time. That is what I have — this present moment.
2. Why Does God Command Us to Become
God’s demand that we seek and strive after the perfection of holiness becomes more understandable when we contemplate the increasingly dire situation of our world. That world, so gravely in need of Christ’s salvation, is the starkest and most palpable reason why any one of us should pursue holiness. What is the value of Christian holiness in the world? One early Christian apologist put it in these terms:
To sum up all in one word –what the soul is in the body, that are Christians in the world. The soul is dispersed through all the members of the body, and Christians are scattered through all the cities of the world... The invisible soul is guarded by the visible body, and Christians are known indeed to be in the world, but their godliness remains invisible. The flesh hates the soul, and wars against it, though itself suffering no injury, because it is prevented from enjoying pleasures; the world also hates the Christians, though in nowise injured, because they abjure pleasures. The soul loves the flesh that hates it, and [loves also] the members; Christians likewise love those that hate them” (From the Letter to Diognetus).
Holiness is a Labor of Love:
In a world of shifting sands, we can offer solid ground; in a world of blind forces of spiritual and material violence, we can offer the persuasive power of Christian goodness. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta was heard to say that holiness is not the privilege of a few, but the obligation of all. When with simple and profound faith, we delve into that link between our striving for holiness and the salvation of souls, we can discover a new impetus and a new strength. The challenge of seeking holiness can become a labor of love, driven by a heart aflame with zeal for the salvation of all our brothers and sisters.
Lord Jesus, the world needs men and women of God; the world needs saints. I know this. I know you call me in a personal, urgent and insistent way to seek my holiness. Bolster my resolve with the courage, strength and determination that only you can give me. Lord, holiness is a gift. You alone are holy; you alone can make me participate in your divine splendor. For the sake of my brothers and sisters, for their salvation, Lord, make me holy. Amen.
I will dedicate time to pray to Our Lady and trust her, with faith and childlike simplicity, the entire project of my personal sanctification.
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