Men of God: Are you seeking holiness? Part One

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Are you seeking holiness? Part One

It is the will of God that we become holy. "God chose us in Christ Jesus, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved." (Ephesians 1:4-6)

This call was personalized and made possible at the time we were baptized. We became sons of God and Temples of the Holy Spirit, sharing in God’s life, which is holy. To further emphasize this call, we read in 1 Peter: "Be holy as I, the Lord your God, am holy."

Holiness is not an option for a few, but the expectation of God for everyone of us.

As a man, as a father, as a husband, are you truly committed to be a holy man? Or are you like St. Augustine, who for years told God, "I want to be holy, but not yet."

Before you can fulfill your responsibilities to your wife or your children, you must first fulfill your responsibility to God, seeking to grow in union with him. It begins with a "conversion": turning away from sin and it’s control in your life and turning to God as the center of your life. As we address the sins that separate us from God, we will be better able to deal with sins that cool our relationship with him. Like anything else, it is a process that requires commitment, discipline, and perseverance.

This commitment flows from the conviction that I do not want to be a slave of sin any longer. This conviction is based on the faith/fact that Jesus through his death and resurrection has set me free from the bondage of sin. But I must live in this freedom and not allow the enticement and control of sin to dampen my resolve.

Many years ago, a friend of mine had a dream. In it, she saw a large bird cage in which there was a bird flying in it or at times perch on a swing in it. Then she saw a hand rip open the door of the cage, leaving a large opening. Now the bird was free to escape from its prison. Instead, the bird kept flying around in the cage and sitting on its perch.

That is a reflection of our lives sometimes. Though we have the Sacrament of Reconciliation which sets us free, we choose not to go through that door, but remain in our self-imposed prison of sin. Or, if we do confess, we very shortly return to our state of slavery to sin.

What is needed is a determined commitment. But that commitment needs to be follow up with a daily discipline, which would undergird your resolve. This discipline includes daily prayer time with the Lord ; choosing to be conscious of what leads one to sin and making the firm resolve to avoid it; a daily examination of conscious to see how you are doing; having someone to hold you accountable as you seek to grow in the life of holiness.

The final step is to persevere and not become discouraged because you experience failures. Start again and again, no matter how many times it takes. It took Thomas Edison over 200 experiments before he found the right element for the light bulb. Have the same spirit of perseverance in your fight against sin. You will never be fully free of sin, but hopefully the sin that separates you from God will no longer be present, as you seek to deal with the sins that dampen your relationship.



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