THE SERVANT GENERAL
SUPPLEMENTS TO A LIFE OF PURITY
Today’s reading: 2 Peter 1:2-7
God calls us to a life of holiness, to live pure. Now that
is a very difficulty call. But God does not issue a high call
only to see us fail. We need to see the realities that come
with being called by God.
God Himself takes the initiative in calling us. This is important.
God calls us according to His will and plan. He “called
us by his own glory and power.” (2 Pt 1:3b). The God
of eternity has planned something good for us from all eternity.
We just need to open our eyes, mind and heart in order to
start working towards His will for our lives.
with every call, since God Himself wills something for us,
He will provide whatever is needed to achieve it. His grace
is sufficient and His power is unlimited. “His divine
power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and
devotion” (2 Pt 1:3a). We only need to give our assent,
and cooperate with His grace, power and glory.
God calls us from out of a world of darkness and sin, which
world is under the dominion of the evil one. We are God’s
children and we belong to Him. God does not want us living
in bondage. We live in bondage because of our own evil desires
and giving in to our fallen flesh. God through His call provides
the way out, “escaping from the corruption that is in
the world because of evil desire.” (2 Pt 1:4c).
God’s call is not just about bringing us out of bondage
to evil, but is especially all about restoring us to Himself,
reconfiguring us into His image and likeness in which we were
created, and extending to us the life that He intended from
all eternity, starting with that perfect existence in paradise.
God’s intent is that we “may come to share in
the divine nature” (2 Pt 1:4b). We are called to be
God has provided everything we need. The only question is
how do we respond? “For this very reason, make every
effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge,
knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance,
endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual
affection with love.” (2 Pt 1:5-7).
that Peter exhorts us to “make every effort.”
We need to strive for holiness. We need to make it a priority
in our life. We need to see that it is at the very center
of God’s call, from which everything else in our Christian
life proceeds. We need to endure and to persevere. We need
to rise every time we fall, and start over again.
are the necessary supplements to a life of purity? According
to Peter, these supplements build on and support each other.
They are crucial components for life and devotion.
Faith. This is about our “knowledge of God and of
Jesus our Lord.” (2 Pt 1:2b). It is repentance of
sin and acceptance of Jesus as Savior and Lord. It is knowledge
of God as Father and eternal Creator, who has a wonderful
plan for us, to give us a future full of hope.
But faith cannot just be an intellectual exercise or a life
of external devotional practices. It is all about avoidance
of sin and growing in a life in Christ. It is being transformed
and continuing to grow in maturity. It is in fact a call
to be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect.
As a tool to growing in the Christian life, we need knowledge--of
God and of His ways. Such is critical so that we can start
to conform our lives to His ways, given that the ways of
the world, which we know and often live out, are so contrary
to God’s ways. This necessitates study, primarily
of the Bible, the living word of God. Then there is prayer,
whereby we develop our relationship with Jesus and allow
him to teach us His ways.
As we start to grow in the Lord, we will encounter the allure
and oppression of the world, the flesh and the devil. These
seek to control us and keep us from living holy lives. Now
we belong to God, and we look to Him for control over our
lives. God does provide His grace and the power of His Spirit,
but we need to work at our life in Him. We need mastery
of self, submitted to our Master Jesus. We need to control
our fleshly desires and unruly emotions. We need to more
and more be emptied of self so that we can truly become
temples of the Holy Spirit.
Living pure is not easy. We will fail many times. We must
not become frustrated, or worse, give up, but we must simply
endure. Many times God allows us to fail, in order to humble
us, to purify us, to make us realize our total dependence
on Him. But every time we rise by the grace and power of
God, we become stronger.
We can only endure if we have a life of devotion. This includes
our prayer life and our daily reading of scripture. This
includes our fidelity to our covenant promises. This includes
our devotion to Mama Mary. This includes our frequent participation
in the Eucharistic celebration.
Mutual affection. Then we also know that we are not alone
in our journey, but that we have fellow pilgrims with us.
These are especially the brethren given to us by God in
our ecclesial associations or parish groups. They are there
to support us, as we support them. There must be mutual
appreciation and respect that lead to fraternal affection.
We care for each other and travel together to heaven.
Above all we put on love, the primary characteristic of
a Christian. We love God and we love our neighbor. We love
our enemies. We are willing to lay down our lives for our
friends. Love is the fullness of Christian life.
these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises”
(2 Pt 1:4a). God wants a wonderful life for us, as He originally
intended. God promises to be with us until the end of the
age, when we will finally enter once again into paradise,
that is heaven.
pure, so that “grace and peace be yours in abundance”
(2 Pt 1:2a).