Called to Holiness

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When you think of a “holy” person, what image comes to mind? Perhaps you think of a priest, deacon, nun, or other clergy. Or that person in your parish who attends daily Mass. Or the volunteer who devotes his or her time to soup kitchens, food pantries, and other charitable organizations.

When you imagine a holy person…do you ever picture yourself?

To be holy is to be like God. Doesn’t that seem kind of lofty? How on earth could ordinary ol’ me achieve such a thing? The answer lies right in the question. Holiness doesn’t come from the “earthly” world. It’s not something we earn, or work towards, or deserve. It’s a gift from God. As St. Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians, “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.” (Ephesians 1:4)

God chose us. How beautiful! Continue reading

Clear and Present Darkness

At first glance this Scripture passage did not appeal to me. All the battle imagery is too aggressive and masculine for my usual approach to faith.   I tend to focus more on love and gentleness, peace and happiness. All feel-good, all the time. This talk of armor, shields, flaming arrows, and “spiritual wickedness in high places” is almost like a foreign language to me.

But the truth is there is tremendous darkness in the world. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with goodness, we will confront the “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” It’s easy to see, on a more global scale, what those spiritual forces might be. War, oppression, poverty, violence. But where does this “present darkness” exhibit itself in my every day life? Continue reading