THE FIRST STEP TO HOLINESS?
TO WANT IT!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
- St Paul reveals God’s great love in his redemptive plan: He “blessed and chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love” and destined us to be His children through Our Lord Jesus Christ.
- These words reveal the Christian vocation to holiness, to sanctity. God wants us all to be holy through the loving imitation of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
- This is what God wants from us. But do we want it?
The first step to holiness is precisely to want to be holy, to want to be a saint. This is utterly important for really wanting to reach our goal, with the help of God’s grace, will spur us to put the means to reach our end.
- As we desire to obtain something (the end) is the first step in every human action, and this desire is converted in searching for the means to obtain what is desired and putting it into practice, so goes the same with regard to holiness.
- With God’s grace, we must first want to be holy so as to put into effect the means which God has disposed to reach holiness: prayer, sacraments and interior struggle to live the virtues practiced and taught by Christ during His life. If one does not desire to be holy, neither shall he want or exert the effort to employ the means….
This is the reason why we too must foster in our heart sincere and operative desires for holiness. St. Josemaria teaches:
“My children, we who are children of God…should have just one exclusive concern, which is this: to become saints.
Allow your soul to be consumed by desires – desires for loving, for forgetting yourself, for sanctity, for heaven… Make them more fervent every day, for the Holy Spirit says that he is pleased with men of desires. Let your desires be operative and put them into practice in your daily tasks. St. Josemaria.”
Desiring and striving for holiness despite our weaknesses and defects is what God wants from each one of us. But, as St. Augustine teaches, God, who created us, cannot save us without our personal correspondence. Hence, “it seems an excellent idea to me that you should tell the Lord often about your great and ardent desire to be a saint, even though you see yourself filled with wretchedness…Tell him – precisely because of this! St. Josemaria.”
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