“The deep calling of our lives is to find the fulfillment of our potential as those created in the divine image to become like Him in holiness. The God-Man has fulfilled this vocation and made it possible for all to share personally in His restoration and fulfillment of the human person. That is why our calling is nothing short of becoming ‘perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect’ (Matt. 5:48)…Holiness transcends the values of tolerance, social justice, and brotherh
“Often when we find ourselves facing external and internal difficulties, our automatic response is to try to do something to lessen the intensity of our discomfort and make ourselves feel better. One way we try to lessen our pain is by suppressing it through activities like substance abuse, anger, comfort eating, distractions, or trying to control others. But an alternative to trying to lessen our discomfort is working to increase our ability to bear with it. To do that, howe
“The human person, created in the image of God and called to progress toward the divine likeness, is unique and of infinite value.” (Fr. John Breck) “The Holy Spirit of God comes personally to men from the Father through Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God. He comes to those who believe in Christ and belong to Him through faith and repentance and baptism in His Church. He is the Spirit Who descended upon the disciples on Pentecost, who also is the One by whose power the w
“…God calls us in unanticipated ways to cooperate with His gracious purposes for bringing salvation to the world… God uses our cooperation to accomplish His gracious purposes in the world. That was certainly the case in the Old Testament: Abraham, Moses, David, and countless others responded to God’s initiative, and He worked through them, despite their many failings. And through the free response of a teenaged Palestinian Jewish girl came the Messiah in Whom the ancient prom
“Paul not only urges us to pray, but he teaches us how we should do it. He writes that we should offer our petitions and supplications to God with intensity…Paul is saying that prayer must be vigorous. We might say that for Paul, effective prayer requires intense exertion. It takes a strong effort that overcomes all obstacles…Paul goes on to identify three characteristics of forceful prayer. First, it is vigilant. That is, it is awake, alert, and on guard against diversions.
“As we live in this life, we are constantly tempted towards the divisions that threaten us. We see the world as “them and us.” These believe; these don’t. These care; these don’t. These behave; these don’t, and so on. The divisions are frequently quite insignificant. These divisions are primarily the symptoms of our failure to love. The people surrounding Christ were consistently scandalized by His persistent comfort and ease with those identified as “sinners.” No doubt, many
“…our goal is not to make the world into paradise, but rather to prevent it from becoming hell. Each of us can work to make holiness present in our lives – which means not so much becoming morally perfect as it means allowing Christ into our hearts and homes so that each of us is transformed by the Gospel commandments. We do not need to be sinless, but we do need to be repentant to have Christ in our lives. The Kingdom of God is not established on earth through governments, l
“Once, the monk John the Short told the desert father Poeman that he had asked the Lord to take away his passions. John said that the Lord answered his prayer, and he was at peace: the warfare between flesh and spirit in his heart was over. Poeman replied, “Go and ask the Lord to stir up in you a new battle against the passions. Fighting against temptation is good for the soul.” When the passions attacked John once more, he did not pray for the end of the fight against them.
“There is within every human person gold and silver and mud and dross. Life in this age has been given to us for repentance and the pursuit of holiness. As a person draws near to God, the fire of His holiness purges away all that is sinful, wicked, and unclean to reveal, purify, and bring to full beauty what is precious that lies within. The process of growth in repentance and holiness is painful and difficult, as is coming to physical maturity. It is necessary, however, if o
“Our orienting loves are like a kind of gravity—carrying us in the direction to which they are weighted. If our loves are absorbed with material things, then our love is a weight that drags us downward to inferior things. But when our loves are animated by the renewing fire of the Spirit, then our weight tends upward.” (James Smith) “While for many…repentance implies going to confession and enumerating one’s sins, the Prophet Joel…gives us a much broader sense of what repenta