The Call to Holiness
In our Lectionary Proper to the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, a compendium of spiritual texts of our founder, St. John Eudes, and other personalities related to the French School of spirituality, there is an abridged work that tackles the meaning and ways to become holy. It is entitled “The Call to Holiness,” and taken from the book, “The Admirable Heart,” written by St. John Eudes himself.
In our own way of thinking, holiness is only for those who are living in cloisters and monasteries, those who are in the pulpit and proclaiming the Good News, and those who are responding to the invitation of Christ. But St. John Eudes emphasized that by the virtue of our baptism, we are called and obliged to be holy for so many reasons:
It is pleasant to love the one who is infinitely good, beautiful, perfect and lovable; the one who is all goodness, beauty and perfection, who never caused any harm, but rather an infinite amount of good; the one who is all heart, all charity, all love for us. Love the most good and lovable God and you will be holy.
It is love that transforms the lover into the object of his love. Love God and you will become one with God by participation and resemblance. If you love God, you will also love what or who God loves. Separate your heart and your affections from all created things and give them over without reservation to him who gave himself totally to you; do what is pleasing to God; and following his divine dictates made manifest to you by his holy commandments, rules and obligations. These are the ways on how to become holy. Are you ready to make the move?
The Lord is Calling!
If the Lord were calling us using a mobile phone, these are the four likeliest things to occur:
- He gets a busy tone! We are so preoccupied with so many things around us that we end up failing to hear God's call in our heart;
- The phone does not rings, but a crisp and mechanical voice message declares, "The heart you are calling cannot be reached!" This happens when we are deep in the quagmire of selfishness and greed. We are lost in our wounds and weaknesses that our hearts are closed;
- The phone rings for a number of times but in the end a voice message informs, "The heart that you are calling is currently unattended. Please, try your call later." It is at the time that we probably hear the call, God tugging our heart, but we decide not to heed it. We get bogged down by our load, feel so tired and empty that we fail to love even ourselves;
- The phone rings, and the call is received up at once, and a cheerful voice is heard, "Hello Lord, thank you for calling! I've just been thinking about you and I want to thank you for the the blessings you continue to shower down on me. What can I do for you in gratitude?"
Only an open heart filled with the love of God can recognize how God moves in his/her life and be thankful for it. Only a cheerful heart would think of what he/she can do for God as a natural flow of that gratefulness.