strive for holiness (heb 12:14)
"...called to holiness..." —Romans 1:7
We are "called to holiness" (Rm 1:7). The secular culture cherishes the idea that holiness restricts our desires, implying that holy people are not free to do what they "really" want. However, "God has not called us to immorality but to holiness" (1 Thes 4:7). Only the holy "live in freedom — but not a freedom that gives free rein to the flesh" (Gal 5:13).
"It is God's will that you grow in holiness" (1 Thes 4:3). Yet "there is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle" (Catechism, 2015). Fr. Al Lauer, longtime author of One Bread, One Body, used to say: "The more I say 'No' to myself, the more I find myself saying 'Yes' to the Holy Spirit." Fr. Al learned by this self-denial that what he gained was far more fulfilling than what he renounced.
We can't become holy by our own efforts or will. What we can do is let the Holy Spirit make us holy. The Spirit fights against our sinful desires and gives us holy desires (Gal 5:17). If we desire to be holy, we will be, for Jesus promises: "Blest are those who hunger and thirst for holiness; they shall have their fill" (Mt 5:6).
God wants to "share His holiness" with you (Heb 12:10). Answer the call to holiness (Rm 1:7). "Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22). Be made holy as God is holy (1 Pt 1:16).
Prayer: Father, shine Your light on all the unholy areas of my life. May I repent of all unholiness, make a sincere Confession, and become holy in every aspect of my conduct (1 Pt 1:15).
Promise: "The Lord has made His salvation known." —Ps 98:2
Praise: St. Teresa was raised by Carmelites after her mother died, which led to her vocation and sainthood.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 2007
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