Finally, there is a consideration of capital importance that can motivate us to want to be faithful to these inspirations. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. Another spiritual law, which is worth taking note of and that is confirmed by experience, is this: this path of docility to the motions of the Holy Spirit may be very demanding, because "the Spirit breathes where he will,"[14] but it is a path of freedom and happiness. The Holy Spirit makes the truth clear to us, reminding us of Jesus' teachings, helping us to understand Gods word, and helping us to do good and to avoid sin Essay: How … It gives us the power to produce spiritual fruit that we could not produce on our own. If we realize that we will save ourselves a great deal of discouragement and fruitless struggle. The word holiness means to be in God’s presence as one “devoted to God,” and because of devotion to God it also means “to be separated from the world.” This dual meaning strikes the right biblical balance. Being in tune with God’s will, turning from and confessing sin, and making a habit of prayer and the study of God’s Word will allow us to recognize—and follow—the Spirit’s leading. Casting off the flesh with all its deceitful desires and imitating God. In her day Phoebe was a world-famous evangelist as well as a teacher of utter devotion to God. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Holiness. Richard of St. Victor says: "Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overfloweth," we read in Psalm 23 [22]. We will get to see ourselves, what dwells in our flesh, through the Spirit in the light of God’s Word. The Holy Spirit enlightens the mind and makes it possible for us to discern truth that the natural man cannot (1 Corinthians 2:14). For these disciplines to do their proper work, we need to practice them as we are open to God’s Spirit. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Tim. St. John of the Cross expresses it elsewhere in other terms: "What touches God's heart, and triumphs over it, is firm hope. The partnership of the believer and the indwelling Holy Spirit in all that is undertaken for God is absolutely essential to achieve the will of God. And the Holiness tradition brings an emphasis on surrender, turning from worldliness, and deepening one’s personal spiritual life. And perfection is reached not so much by external conformity to an ideal as by inner faithfulness to God's inspirations. For instance, when I am tempted. They live on earth but participate in the life of heaven. in a 65 m.p.h. In other words, the spiritual disciplines are practices that are designed to make us open to the Spirit and open to the presence of God, but they are not the Spirit. But even then, there is reason to consider that in the kingdom of God we might well eternally grow into more and more holiness. He gives us the right words to speak about God (Acts 1:8). My grandma made the claim that she was entirely sanctified and no longer sinned. Reprinted with permission of Scepter Press. These inspirations are necessary even to know God's general will for us. What the Holy Spirit is up to is bringing the whole life of Jesus Christ into the whole of our personalities so that the whole love of God can be relayed to the whole world. She lived in an area called Vinegar Hill, and she could pick up the phone and hear the conversations of neighbors who were using the phone. Because the Spirit has been unleashed, and those who are open to the Spirit can do a transforming work that makes God’s people a shining display of loving holiness. To keep with O’Connor’s humorous prose, “I’m willing to defend this one like a fox terrier.”. Father Jacques Philippe is a spiritual director, retreat master and the founder of the Community of the Beatitudes. He told the people that the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees would never get them to heaven (5:20). New study shows Scripture reading correlates with Harvard measures of human flourishing. In the Reformed wing, there is an emphasis on theology, preaching, and social engagement at the level of culture. The inspirations of grace are invaluable in enabling us to direct our efforts correctly, among the many battles we have to wage. But rejecting the world is not the primary emphasis. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. This happens even when their object is something unimportant; because these touches proceed from the Holy Spirit they share in God's power to console and fulfill us. Although God is Spirit, He is not an impersonal force in the universe as some describe Him. How can we discover what it is? The Holy Spirit is rightly called the Consoler. We can see, then, how fruitful it is to welcome and follow the motions of the Spirit, to the point where we can say with Sister Faustina that this is the main means of our sanctification. Her prose is a bit old-fashioned, but this is the gist of it: Palmer knew that the Spirit was prompting her to surrender to God in utter allegiance and love for God and others. CTWeekly delivers the best content from ChristianityToday.com to your inbox each week. There are even infallible means for obtaining it, and the important thing is to know what they are. Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Jesus is the one who makes us holy, enabling us to stand in God’s presence and join the angels as they sing “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.” Excerpt from What's the Big Deal about Holiness? It is accompanied by an outpouring of grace that enlarges our hearts and makes our souls feel free and happy to travel along the Lord's paths: "I will run in the way of thy commandments, when thou enlargest my understanding! The Spirit will never lead us into sin. To reach holiness, we cannot be content merely to follow the general principles that apply to everyone. In the same Spirit help us … Basically, it's very simple; but like all simple things it takes years for us to understand and, above all, to practice. My family was Baptist, and we would have none of this. It was thought that in this life Christians could reach a level of personal holiness in which they could stop sinning. Various questions arise from this. First, we need to practice the spiritual disciplines that promote presence with God, because contact with God is transformative. To unlock this article for your friends, use any of the social share buttons on our site, or simply copy the link below. They are found in the flesh but do not live according to the flesh. Ahhh… this song couldn’t be any more perfect! This does not mean that all is lost if at any time we are unfaithful to them. We must have the Holy Spirit indwelling us and filling us with His holiness. 1:2), For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. To share this article with your friends, use any of the social share buttons on our site, or simply copy the link below. If we decide to make an effort to achieve some spiritual progress according to our ideas and our own criteria, we are by no means sure to succeed. But it is certainly not true that holiness is the result of a program of life we set ourselves. © 1996-2019 Catholic Education Resource Center | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Sitemap, The Eight Doors of the Kingdom: Meditations on the Beatitudes, Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart. Lord, by the light of the Holy Spirit you have taught the hearts of your faithful. The ability to discern and follow them is one of the most important points of the devout life": Francis de Sales, Lettres d'amité spirituelle (Bruges: Desclée de Brouwer), p.  818. Does everyone receive them? Jesus’ definition of holiness was one of the bones of contention between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders of His day. He treats us as only God can. (John 16:8-15.) The Helper will guide us into all the truth, convicting us of sin, of righteousness, and judgement. God wants our devotion most of all, and that devotion will turn us away from sins. Here is a passage from a letter by St. Thérèse of Lisieux that can help us to understand what this means: I think St. Thérèse found this idea that we can obtain everything from God in the works of St. John of the Cross, who was virtually the only teacher she had. Which at the same time means we need to say no to the use or overuse of alcohol, food, sexually provocative movies and literature, violence, anything that feeds hate (such as some news outlets and social media posts). He invests us with confidence over fear (2 Timothy 1:7). 1:7) 14. Subscribers receive full access to the archives. And along the way, he shapes our posture to align with two fundamental truths: Holiness cannot be found apart from the Spirit’s means of grace; therefore, we must be diligent in the use of them. That is the secret of St. Thérèse of Lisieux's little way: God has a father's heart, and we can unfailingly obtain what we need from him, if we know how to take him by the heart. 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