The Secret to Holiness

(Repost but still relevant!)

Catchy title, eh? 😉 I don’t claim to truly have the secret to holiness, obviously. However, I think that as I’ve been The Secret to Holinessgetting older, I’ve discovered the secret of holiness for me.

In reality, holiness is nothing more than growing into a deep, living and personal relationship with God. We get to know God through liturgical and personal prayer, frequenting the sacraments, practicing virtue, reading scripture and studying our faith. It is living our lives in Jesus, and through Jesus, with the power of the Holy Spirit, with the Father. It is having our hearts aligned with God.

Isn’t that what the saints did (do)? They have an abiding prayer life – even when it is dry and difficult for them. They receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Confession, regularly. They practice virtue, often to an heroic degree, daily. They often have a great understanding of scripture and the precepts of our faith, as well. (FYI, knowledge of scripture doesn’t always mean being “learned.” There were, and are, many “uneducated” people who have great knowledge of the ways of God!)

The saints make no excuses. They are consistent in following the ways of the Lord. Instead of falling into complacency they actively seek God and work to serve Him. And, therein, for me, lies the secret to holiness: consistency. Consistency is key.

I don’t know about you, but I make excuses. It is just SO EASY to make excuses or to put other things first. I make resolutions and fail to keep them. I justify myself when I fail in virtue (he “made” me be impatient, because he won’t do what I want!). Sometimes I feel like I am the seed that was choked among the thorns (Matthew 13:1-23). I start out promising to be patient or pray more or go to daily mass or whatever; then, life gets in the way. Or, rather, I let life get in the way. I don’t manage my time properly or get my priorities mixed up. I’m inconsistent in living my faith, not only the way I “should” live it but the way I ultimately WANT to live it.

Is it a lack of faith? Maybe. I’m not sure. Maybe, if I had the faith of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20), all the excuses, justifications, and inconsistencies would disappear. I don’t know. I do know that I need to work at being more consistent and focused.

How about you? What do you think about this? what does holiness mean to you? What do you think is the secret of holiness to you?

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Comments

  1. Holiness a relative term for me. Moving toward God is more holy; moving away, less holy. Grace is a gift which helps you move closer to God.

    Put another way, you are more holy if you are becoming more of what God intends you to be.

    I used to think that I’d grow gradually more holy over my life; lately I’m not so sure. That’s why we have a Church, Sacraments (especially Confession)and Purgatory.

    This reminds of something I read recently about St. Augustine: his life shows us that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.
    kkollwitz…recently posted…New TranslationMy Profile

  2. SimpleCatholic says:

    Thanks for your input. I like your definition of holiness.

  3. I agree with kkollwitz. The point is for us to be conformed to the image of Christ. The less Christlike we are, the less holy. And it doesn’t come automatically; time and effort are required, just as in any other endeavor.

    Evan
    Evan…recently posted…Sunday Snippets–A Catholic CarnivalMy Profile

  4. Holiness is surrender to God’s will and doing what He means for us to do and doing our best in the process. Another way to think of holiness is living the Two Great Commandments and practicing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. We are holy when we are in the state of grace and unholy when we’re not. This sounds simple but really is hard to do because our will and concupiscence gets in the way of God’s will, but if we keep trying and keep our eyes on Christ crucified, will will grow closer to God. I want to get so close to Him that his holiness will rub off on me!
    Barb…recently posted…Sunday Snippets – A Catholic CarnivalMy Profile

  5. Diiacovo Family says:

    SImple Catholic,

    I loved this thank you so much. I’m reminded of a video by skit guys that has a similar theme. They are not catholic but they are our christian brothers. I’ll post it below. Keep on I read your blog all the time and it helps me and my family thank you!

  6. Ruth Adawag says:

    Since I was young, i had an aspiration to become holy. I want to become a saint, that’s my very motto in life. But for 36 years of my existence, still so far from that ambition. Yet i’m not losing hope…I guess the secret of holiness is to keep on trying until your last breath. The grace of God is sufficient for those who ask him. -Ruth

    • SimpleCatholic says:

      That is beautiful, Ruth, and so true. God’s grace is sufficient and I believe H blesses those who try! Thanks for the comment. 🙂

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