The Call to Holiness

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The call to Holiness - A constant Spiritual Battle

 

Excerpt from the "Regula Sancti Michaelis"
(Articles of Formation)
Order of the Legion of Saint Michael

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We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him ... For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. And those whom He predestined He also called and those whom He called He also justified; and those whom He justified He also glorified (Romans 8:28-30).

All Christians in any walk or state in life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity. All are called to holiness: Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48).

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes)In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ's gift, so that ... doing the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service of their neighbor. Thus the holiness of the People of God will grow in fruitful abundance, as is clearly shown in the history of the Church through the lives of so many saints.

eucharist3.gif (9262 bytes)Spiritual progress tends toward ever more intimate union with Christ. This union is called mystical because it participates in the mystery of Christ through the Sacraments - the holy mysteries - and, in Him, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God calls us all to this intimate union with Him, even if the special graces or extraordinary signs of the mystical life are granted only to some for the sake of manifesting the gratuitous gift to all.

The way of perfection passes by the Way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle. Spiritual progress entails the ascetic and mortification that gradually leads to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes:

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes)He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops desiring what he already knows.

The Call to Holiness requires discipline of our senses and desires. Devotional acts may help with this discipline. From his Constitutions, Saint Ignatius advises:

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes)All should take care to guard with great diligence the gates of their senses (especially the eyes, ears, and tongue) from all disorder, to preserve themselves in peace and true humility of their souls, and to give an indication of it by silence when it should be kept and, when they must speak, by the discretion and edification of their words, the modesty of their countenance, the maturity of their walk, and all their movements, without giving any sign of impatience or pride. In everything they should try and desire to give the advantage to the others, esteeming them all in their hearts as better than themselves and showing exteriorly, in an unassuming and simple religious manner, the respect and reverence befitting each one’s state, in such a way that by observing one another they grow in devotion and praise God our Lord, Whom each one should endeavor to recognize in his neighbor as in His image . . . . It will be very specially helpful to perform with all possible devotion the tasks in which humility and charity are practiced more; and, to speak in general, the more one binds himself to God our Lord and shows himself more generous toward his Divine Majesty, the more will he find God more generous toward himself and the more disposed will he be to receive graces and spiritual gifts which are greater each day.

In addition, the Call to Holiness, requires us to guard against becoming accomplices to sin. One becomes an accomplice when one culpably assists another in the performance of an evil action. This may be done by counsel, command, provocation, consent, praise, flattery, concealment, participation, silence, or defense of the evil done.