Five myths about holiness!

October 30, 2006

1) “Only priests and sisters and monks are called to be holy.” To be holy means to have the joy of knowing, loving, and serving God now in this life, and to be happy with him for all eternity in the next! God doesn’t just want those who are consecrated to him in religious life to have this joy—he wants every single one of us to have the joy of knowing and to loving him! You and I are called to be holy, to be saints!

2) “Being holy will make me grumpy and miss out on all the joys of life!” Nothing could be further from the truth! People in love with God love to have fun and to laugh. Mother Teresa is a great modern example, always smiling and radiant with joy even in the midst of great poverty. Saints are able to appreciate fun with friends, beautiful sunsets, and mouth-watering pizza as gifts from God and signs of his love for us! As one saint once remarked, “Joy is the surest sign of God’s presence!” The more we grow in holiness, the more we will be living life to the fullest!

3) “I’ll be holy later.” People often figure that they’ll start getting serious about their relationship with God “sometime later,” such as when they are out of school or when they are married or when they are retired. This is like couples who remodel their house before putting it for sale and then regret that they waited so long to make the improvements: “It’s so nice, but now that we’ve done the work we don’t have any time to enjoy it!” Deep in our hearts, we all want the joy of knowing and serving God…why not build that relationship now and enjoy it for the rest of your life, instead of waiting and regretting that you put it off so long?

4) “There is only one way to be holy.” Just as there are many ways to arrive at a particular location, there are many different ways that people can become holy. It is fascinating to read the lives of the saints, for example, because one sees how different each one was. Each of them reflected God’s holiness in their own unique way, according to the gifts and responsibilities that God had given them. God is not asking us to abandon our personality and our gifts, but rather to use these to reflect his love in the world in our own unique way!

5) “I can only become holy doing big, religious things.” Holiness isn’t limited to big, dramatic actions like being a missionary in a far-away country or giving all of your possessions to the poor. God wants you to become holy through the duties and activities of your everyday life, by doing them with love and for his glory! Teenagers, for example, can grow in holiness by doing their schoolwork and playing sports and having fun in ways that give glory to God, because those are the responsibilities that he is giving them at this point in their life. The same applies to all the many responsibilities of married life (even the seemingly insignificant ones like changing diapers or mowing the lawn!), and to all of the different careers (if you are an architect, for example, be so in a way that gives glory to God!)

Holiness isn’t far off and impossible to obtain; Jesus is offering it to you right in your everyday life, within reach! Why not ask him to help you reach out and grasp it?


Related:  8 Simple Ways to See God in the Ordinary

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