Holiness is Essential


Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations,

Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Take Up & Read

1 Kings 3: 5-15

1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

Ponder this: 

What if, here and now, as summer comes to a close and we look ahead to a new academic year and the briskness of autumn’s quickened pace, we take some time to consider what is truly essential? What if we intentionally set about to craft a life that is mindful of the one thing that is important? What if we did everything,  from this moment forward, for God’s glory?

And what if we did it with the presence of mind to recognize in every moment that God’s glory is the outward sign of His holiness in the world?

What if we live as if holiness is the only thing that matters?

We are made to give God glory, and that glory is the shining forth of holiness. We are made to be holy. To understand what holiness is, we can turn to a quick reference in The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity." All are called to holiness: "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ's gift, so that . . . doing the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service of their neighbor. Thus the holiness of the People of God will grow in fruitful abundance, as is clearly shown in the history of the Church through the lives of so many saints.

(CCC 2013)

God wants this glory in our lives. And we want it, too. The restlessness we feel when we get caught up in the hurry and the noise is the manifestation of being out of step with the whole reason we are on earth. Sometimes, it’s just little things, small decisions made over the course of the day. Other times, our life is seriously out of whack because we have set it upon a trajectory that is outside God’s will. Either way, focusing on what is essential--being holy--will bring us to a place of peace. 

In the passage from the First Book of Kings, Solomon seeks God’s will for his life. All he asks is to be a man after God’s own heart. He doesn’t want power or riches or worldly “successes”; he wants the wisdom to discern as God does--to clearly hear the voice of God and to bring that to bear on all the decisions he makes.  

Solomon recognizes the many voices of the world and how confusing their messages can be. He asks God to make His voice heard above the cacophony created by voices “so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted.” 

Think for a moment of our busy, noisy world. Consider all the voices, whether they be small humans in your household who call out to you without regard for the time of day or night, or the innumerable voices held inside the piece of technology that fits into the palm of your hand and influences how and with what thoughts you spend your time. Can you hear God above the noisy din? 

So often, we prioritize and make lists and set goals and we lose our way in the clutter of those lists. Just set one goal this month. Make it your goal to live in pursuit of holiness. If we want to live in such a way that we are wholeheartedly devoted to the glory of God and the service of our neighbor, we need to fully access Christ’s gift in order to have the strength we need. We need to use our time and our space in a way that they are ordered towards our essential purpose: to be holy. Everything else will fall into place if you winnow your priorities to one. Be holy. 

To do this week over the course of a few quiet sessions with your Bible:

Read the Old Testament passage slowly and make notes in your Bible or journal. What does God want you to understand about the example that David was to his son Solomon? What message does the Holy Spirit have for you in the dream of Solomon?

Then, read 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 slowly and carefully. (Over the course of this month, try to commit it to memory.) From this passage, craft a definition of holiness for yourself, taking care to see the relationship of love to holiness.

We hope this free study blesses you. We’ll continue to explore this topic for the whole month of August. In September, we’ll go deeper and take a closer look at the some of the habits of daily life and how we can orient them towards sanctity. To get receive all the September content, please join us as a member.