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Marks of True Holiness August 17, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Our Lady.

We should all be striving, constantly, to grow in holiness. I try alot, but usually fail.  I keep reading and studying the Faith, and praying, and meditating (which I am terrible at), hoping something will finally sink in!  From The Imitation of Mary by Abbe’ Alexander de Rouville, Book II Chapter 33:

One day a woman cried out to the Savior: “Blest is the womb that bore You, and the breasts that  nursed you!” But Jesus answered her: “Rather, blest are they who hear the Word of God and keep it!” (Lk 11:27-28).

Here Jesus intended to tell us that what most distinguishes Mary is not her dignity as Mother of God but her constant fidelity to all her religious duties.

Her greatest merit does not consist in the prerogative of her maternity which came to her from God and from God alone, but her holiness which, while indeed requring the Grace of God, also was the fruit of her correspondence to Grace and her cooperation [This is the key – we don’t make ourselves holy, we become holy by cooperation with God’s Grace.  It takes our active cooperation, however – we are involved, unlike what the Lutherans and Calvinists think, but  the best we can do is to cooperate with God’s Grace]

What merits God’s rewards is not what He does for us but what we do for Him.

The good servant of whom the Gospel speaks earns a reward not for having received the five talents but for having made them yield a profit.

Your are proud, and rightly so, of that Divine sonship which you received in Baptism. But remember that this dignity will not win you a place among the Saints unless you accompany it with a holiness of life.

Among the Saints are some who had visions and ecstasies. But that is not why you should envy their lot.

The Saints were people who were faithful, perseveringly faithful to the Will of God, and that is what you must try to imitate in them. You have embraced a holy profession? But it is not in the holiness of the profession that you must find your security, but in your watchfulness and care in carrying out all your duties.

Judas, in all probability, worked miracles, but he was nonetheless rejected. We do not read that John the Baptist ever worked miracles; yet in the Gospel the Son of God bestows the highest praise on him (Matt 11:11, Lk 7:28).

Among men you can be esteemed even if your life is not a holy one; [indeed, today, the most amoral and unholy among us often seem to attract the most praise] but with God a  man is nothing if he is not a Saint. [and in the final analysis, nothing matters but this] And a man is not a Saint if he does not do deeds that are holy.

This must be for us, as it was for Mary, the true basis of our dignity.

Understand, then, that God does not make your salvation depend on extraordinary gifts of nature or Grace. Rather He has made you yourself the arbiter of your salvation by making it depend, under Him, on you.[and your correspondence with Grace]

O Lord, who shall sojourn in Your tent? Who shall dwell on Your holy mountain? He who walks blamelessly and does justice (Ps15:1-2)

I think our culture today frequently most admires and rewards those who practice great vice – unchaste, prideful movie and TV stars, greedy captains of industry, those who practice violence, etc.  Those who practice virtue are frequently seen as odd, if not crazy and dangerous.  Yes, our culture still likes feel good stories about people helping others out, but the regular practice of virtue and avoidance of vice, on an ongoing basis, often leads to one being viewed as a holy roller, someone defective.   But responding to God’s Grace, practicing virtue, loving God above all and through Him your fellow man, is the only thing that really, in the end, matters.


1. Caroline - August 17, 2011

Thank you for this post..It definitely is a culture if inverse virtue, but how encouraging to find believers who see the times we live in for what they are and then encourage one another on to holiness.
Blessings and +PAX

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