HOLINESS IN A NUTSHELL!!!
The essence of holiness is union with
God. The third Person of the most Blessed Trinity is the Holy Spirit. Many
names can be given to Him: the Paraclete, the Counselor and Consoler, the
Interior Master or Teacher, the Sanctifier, and finally the Sweet Guest of the
Union of God means living in the
state of sanctifying grace. However, one of the key challenges is to be
constantly open to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. This is the key: being
open and docile to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
TRANSFORMATION OF THE APOSTLES. We read in the Gospels quite frequently
defects and downright failure on the part of the Apostles. For example, Peter
wanted to prevent Jesus from His Passion and crucifixion. Then Peter denied
Jesus three times as Jesus had predicted shortly before at the Last Supper.
However, there was a key turning point in the life of Peter, the other Apostles
and it can be in our lives depending on one interior attitude and action: allowing
the Holy Spirit to take control of our lives. The Apostles, united with the
Blessed Virgin Mary, spent nine days and nine nights in silence, penance (fasting)
as well as deep and constant prayer.
Then the Holy Spirit descended upon Our Lady and the Apostles in wind
and fire. The Apostles were never again the same. Just read and meditate the
Acts of the Apostles and see for yourself. Weak and cowardly men were transformed into valiant soldiers of Christ, even ready and willing to shed their blood for the sake of the Name and Person of Jesus!
HOW TO TAP IN TO THIS INFINITE POWER
AT YOUR DISPOSAL HERE AND NOW? We will offer you three short but hopefully
powerful hints that if taken seriously could change the course of your life.
Why not accept the challenge.
First, A GOOD CONFESSION! Why not spend a longer period of time to
examine your conscience in great detail. Not only to spot your sins, but also
the reason why you sinned as well as your inner motivations. Then beg from the
bottom of your heart for a true, sincere, sorrow for these sins. Beg for the
grace to recognize that sin is not only breaking the Commandments, but even more
important, sin is breaking the Sacred Heart of Jesus who is the Incarnation of
the love of God. Then make a firm
purpose of amendment, making the purpose to avoid any person, place or thing
that can lead you into sin. Beg the Lord from the depths of your heart, even
before entering the confessional, that this confession will be your best and
that it will result in a transformation of your life. Sacramental Theology is
very interesting! One key concept is that of what is called DISPOSITIVE GRACE. This means in lay terms that the better you
prepare yourself or dispose yourself for the Sacraments then the more abundant
graces you will receive. In other words, the more generous you are in preparing
to receive God in the Sacraments then the more generous will God be in the outpouring
of His graces. So, right now prepare yourself, better yet, prepare your whole
family to make the best confession of your life! You will never regret it!
SECOND: BE DOCILE AND OPEN TO GOD’S
HEAVENLY INSPIRATIONS! God is always ready
and willing to speak to us, but we are not always ready to listen to His voice.
God spoke to the young Samuel in the temple, but he needed the help of the
spiritual direction of the priest Eli. God spoke to Elijah on the mountain top—not
in the earthquake, the thunder or lightning, but rather God spoke in the gentle
breeze. God spoke to Our Lady through the instrumentality of an angel, the
Archangel Gabriel the messenger of God. God spoke to Saul as he lay blind on
the road to Damascus. “Who are you, Lord?
I am Jesus of Nazareth who you are persecuting!” God spoke to Philip the deacon in the Acts
with the purpose of moving Philip to instruct the Ethiopian eunuch, baptize him
and send him on his way to be missionary to Ethiopia. Therefore, we must cultivate a listening ear.
If you like this image: we must be like the huge DISH that picks up the waves or
“Vibes” (vibrations). Saint Ignatius teaches us that the good vibes and bad
vibes are constantly at work within us. It is up to us to discern between the
good vibes and the bad. We must recognize and accept the good vibes which are
the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. But we must be prompt to reject the bad
vibes which are the temptations of the evil spirit that we call the devil! In
other words, to listen to the Holy Spirit and to be docile to His promptings we
must cultivate the art of spiritual discernment.
Third, A STRONG AND GROWING DEVOTION
TO OUR LADY! The Blessed Virgin Mary has many different but beautiful titles.
This is expressed most clearly in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many of
these attributes or praises of Mary are poetic symbols and many are actually
Biblical derivations. However, relating
to our topic on docility to the Holy Spirit, Our Lady can help us immensely! Why?
For this simple but profound reason: Our Lady’s relationship to the Blessed
Trinity and to specifically to the Holy Spirit. Our Lady is the Daughter of God
the Father; she is the Mother of God the Son; finally, she is Mystical Spouse
of the Holy Spirit. A Cardinal once
asked a group of charismatics the key to deeper union to the Holy Spirit??? The
Cardinal gave the answer: union with Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. As
soon as he finished there were peals of thunder and lightning bolts that
responded to the Cardinal’s assertion! For that reason, Saint Louis de Montfort
affirms this statement with these words:
“Those who love Mary, the Holy Spirit flings Himself into their souls!”
Imagine a professional Frisbee throw cutting powerfully through the air from
one hand into the next! So Our Lady’s prayers open the gateway to the Divine
Invasion of the Holy Spirit.
In conclusion, if you find yourself
floundering in the spiritual, going nowhere fast like a hamster running around
the wheel, and experiencing a sense of frustration, a sense of stagnation in
your spiritual journey, why not try the three: make the best confession in your
life, be open and docile to the Holy Spirit and learn the art of spiritual
discernment, and finally cultivate a deep and filial love for Our Lady. Indeed
this could be the turning point in your life—the start on the Highway to