THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE CALL TO HOLINESS
SOME PRINCIPLES OF HOLINESS
Today’s gospel: Matthew 7:6-14
[If you have not yet done so, please read first what preceded
this article, sent earlier today, which is From the SG on
The New Evangelization (Part 183). In there is the intro to
this new series on The Call to Holiness.]
We are all called to holiness, to be holy as God is holy.
You have heard this many times before. I have expounded on
and written about holiness countless times. Are you growing
in holiness? Where are you now in regard to this fundamental
call? Do you even understand the call?
call to holiness is very challenging. You may not want to
hear everything God wants to say to you. You may prefer to
skip over the clear but hard teachings in the Bible (Jesus’
sermon on the mount, including today’s reading, is a
fundamental key to the call to holiness. Read and internalize
chapters 5-7 of Matthew). You may even take a defensive posture
and assault me for saying what I truly believe God wants to
say to you. All that would be unfortunate. Let not Jesus’
words be applicable to you: “Do not give what is holy
to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample
them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (v.6).
What is holiness? The golden rule? That is a good start. “Do
to others whatever you would have them do to you.” (v.12a).
This rule is actually found in both positive and negative
forms in pagan and Jewish sources, both earlier and later
than the gospel. In fact, many non-Christians practice this
rule so much better than so-called Christians!
would be holiness in relation to this wonderful rule? Do unto
others what is right and just and true. Period. No conditions.
No payback. No basing on what they do to you. No looking to
one’s well-being as at times an ulterior motive for
having good and peaceful relationships with others.
What is holiness? It is entering the narrow gate. “Enter
through the narrow gate” (v.13a). It is choosing the
path of righteousness. It is being set apart from what the
world chooses, “for the gate is wide and the road broad
that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it
are many.” (v.13b). Unfortunately many Catholics have
chosen the wide and broad road. They are headed to damnation.
Resist the siren calls of materialism, consumerism, selfism,
secular humanism, modernism, and all the other isms
of the world. Be careful of the prosperity gospel, as the
authentic gospel is the gospel of the cross. Take not the
easy, comfortable or convenient path. Embrace the suffering
which accompanies the authentic Christian life. “How
narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
And those who find it are few.” (v.14). This narrow
gate has been shown to you all these years. It leads to the
path where you will encounter the cross of Christ. I pray
that you will be courageous enough to enter it.
What is holiness? It is a life of prayer. It is intimate communication
and relationship with God. It is surrender of one’s
life to God. It is entering into the embrace of the Father
and fully trusting in His provision and care for His beloved
children. “Ask and it shall be given to you” (v.7a).
It is knowing that God our Father has the best plan for our
lives and is committed to seeing it happen, for “how
much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those
who ask him.” (v.11b).
comes to those who truly pray. Paul tells us to pray without
ceasing. Our whole life should be an intimate relationship
with Jesus, in obedience to the Father, and empowered by the
Above are just three principles of holiness. There are many