What does it mean to be holy? As I have reflected on this question, it has become ever more apparent that being holy is sharing in God’s holiness. We cannot become holy, we can only become less so he can become more.
One becomes holy by learning to recognize the Holy Spirit, who lives and dwells within the baptized person, and then by cooperating in his work. We transcend by allowing the Holy Spirit to carry us to new heights; to a more perfect form of living.
In accordance with the Gospels, one is invited on this spiritual journey by first learning to practice virtue. This includes being prudent in one’s decision making, treating people with love, even enemies, persevering in all things that come our way with a spirit of surrender to God who has allowed these things to happen, and living and acting in moderation. Keep in mind that if living a holy life could have been made perfect by one’s actions alone, then the Israelites would have figured it out, and Jesus would not have had to come and live to die. We are always in need of a savior to lift us out of sin, and to help us persevere in the quest for holiness.
It is only in reliance on the Holy Spirit that we can achieve the moral life of which Jesus spoke. In so doing, we recognize our weakness and dependence on God. It is in this way that we are humbled and become more and more aware of our dependence on God.
Spend some time today inviting the Holy Spirit into your day. Ask him how you can better cooperate with his healing grace. Assure him (and yourself) that you are ready for this journey, and to help you to better achieve the fruits of Gospel living.
Ms. Debra D. Weldon, O.P.