A Call to Holiness
Holiness is an innovative truth leading the faithful to grow in their spirituality. Holiness drives us to pursue a prayer life, work of charity, and continue to seek a direction that can benefit our spirituality firmly.
As a spiritual director of both Sacred Heart Major Seminary and Ss. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, I have witnessed priests and seminarians grow in their spirituality by their consistence of daily prayers and good deeds.
Holiness is not a personal choice. Rather, holiness is essential to us from our birth to death. It is our response to God’s Holiness. At the beginning, God created human person in His own image and likeness, human person was holy then. After the fall, human person became falling short from the grace of God and had a tendency to turn toward sin (Concupiscence CCC #2515). The holiness of human person was gradually dimmed out. Human person should return to God (reunite) in order to earn back the life of holiness. When we respond to God’s call, we face to His Holiness, which brings us into His presence of whom is Holy.
As in our own life, we experienced that a man falls in love with a woman (vice versa); there will be no choice between them for falling in love with a third person. Rather, each one of them would respond to each other to whatever one can please the other.
Holiness is a driving force that leads us to pray and believe in God. It leads us to love the Words of God (Scriptures). It moves our heart to do charitable works. It drives us to do all good things but not evil (Job 2:10 “we accept good things from God; should we not accept evil?” Through all this, Job did not sin in what he said). Indeed, these motivations surely lead us to grow in our spirituality.
On the other hand, one who might believe that reading many excellent spiritual books or he/she could give wonderful spiritual talks quickly assumed that he/she is growing in spirituality or in holiness. The Pharisees did it likewise in the Temple area, but Jesus condemned them by saying, “not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in Heaven.” (Matt 7:21).
Practically, yes praying and turning to the Lord is the best. Go to the tabernacle, sit with the Lord, and give Him your heart and soul. When you go to Mass, you should focus on prayers and the Holy Eucharist which you are about to receive. It is so basic; really, all of us are called to do likewise.
Lastly, grow in spirit once you understand the call for Holiness and then you enter into prayer, perform good deeds, spend time with the Lord, contemplate, meditate, etc.
Fr. Hoang Lam is the pastor of Our Lady of Grace Vietnamese Parish and the Chaplain for the Divine Mercy Center.