"Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words."

A special "Thank you!"
Goes out to
John Michael Talbot
for giving us permission
to use his song on our
"Come to the Quiet"
You Tube Video
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Monday, October 04, 2021

A Time To Become Holy



"Be Holy for I Am Holy."

We are in the middle of a crisis of faith...

Advent is a time for us to seek holiness. Holiness is not something that is meant to be had by the few. It is meant for you and me! It is meant for all of us! In 1 Peter, God tells us to “Be holy for I am holy.” Would God instruct us to be something that is impossible for us to accomplish?

Certainly not! We see in Psalm 51 how we are to become holy through a broken and contrite heart. So how do we obtain a broken and contrite heart? St. Francis of Assisi showed great insight here by telling his followers that he preferred absolutely nothing to preaching repentance and penance, which was considered folly at that time because the fear and love of the Lord had died out in the world. The same can be said of our modern, Post-Christian world as well.

So how do we grow in holiness? We grow in holiness by accepting the Father's love and seeking His forgiveness. The closer we grow with the Father, the more we become like Jesus, and like Jesus, our hearts must first truly burn with a desire to grow in holiness. This is impossible without first surrendering our lives to God just as Jesus surrendered his to the Father.

We should frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation...Advent is a time to reflect on our status as prodigal sons and daughters of the Most High. Just as the prodigal son, we too must eventually come to our senses. Today's modernist society too often justifies sin or else denies it completely. Rampant drug and alcohol abuse, disrespect for adults and for one another, malicious gossip, cheating on our income taxes, refusing to forgive others, sexual depravity and Abortion have become society's new norm. We are in the middle of a crisis of faith in Jesus Christ. It's very easy to allow ourselves to become discouraged by all the negativity, but we must realize that the people are hungry. The people are hungry for the truth. They desire more out of life than simply wandering aimlessly about, day in and day out, in total hopelessness. They want to find joy. But there can be no joy separate from holiness!

Don't expect holiness to happen overnight...To grow in holiness, we must first return to regularly receiving the Sacraments and the first step to returning to the Sacraments is an examination of conscience; the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Just as the prodigal son returned to his father and begged forgiveness for his sins, we must also return to the Father and beg his forgiveness for sinning against Him. St. Francis of Assisi tells us that we should frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a month. Why is that so important? Well, it helps us see our sins and seek God's mercy by experiencing His tender love for us. We can never hope to grow in holiness without the Sacrament of Reconciliation for if we are truly going to get serious about coming to our senses and receiving the Father’s love, then we will first go to Him with broken and contrite hearts and confess our sins to Him, not just during Advent, but at least once a month. Why is that? Because it helps us to see our sins, to seek God’s mercy, and to experience his tender love for us.

The second step in growing in holiness is by returning to the Eucharist. We must never separate the Eucharist from our daily lives or our daily lives from the Eucharist. Jesus satisfies our hunger for him by giving us his Body and Blood, just as we must satisfy His hunger for the souls of the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed by becoming Eucharistic for the people.

Don't expect holiness to happen overnight. Most of us become overwhelmed and discouraged if we don't see ourselves become holy right away. Remember, the saints were first sinners, some of them great sinners. It took many years for the saints to become holy as they were prone to the same trials and failures that we experience in today's world. The important thing is that we persevere, realizing that the Father loves us unconditionally.

Chris Dickson is the Servant General of the Franciscan Lay Apostolate (F.L.A.) Located at the Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center in Jerusalem, Ohio, next to the Immaculate Conception Cemetery. The F.L.A. follows the Medieval Penitential First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis, dated 1221 A.D., placing themselves under Holy Obedience to the Bishop of Steubenville and Fr. Timothy Davison of the Catholic Churches of Monroe County, Ohio

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