What do we think of when we hear the word holy?
We tend to think of something, or someone, perfect, right? Disciplined, compassionate, righteous, and pure. Something or someone void of everything that’s worldly, corrupt, and flawed.
Yet over and over again, from the pages of Scripture to Our Lady’s messages, we’re constantly called to be holy.
A little daunting, huh?
And yet there’s the saints.
Now, maybe you’re thinking right about now, Oh, come on, Vixey! The saints are different. They’re not like you and me, they were special! They were born HOLY!
Granted, we’re all given different graces. The graces God has gifted you are different from the ones He’s gifted me. Some of us use them, others may squander them or never take the time to recognize them. We’re all created uniquely according to the plans the Father specifically designed for us.
But let’s remind ourselves of something very important here. There are only two people who were truly born holy and without sin: Jesus and Mary.
The rest of us not so much, and that goes for the saints, too. Just look at St. Paul, St. Augustine, Blessed Bartolo Longo, or St. Mary Magdalen. Some of them had pretty rough pasts. But when they found Jesus they opened their hearts to Him, held onto Him, and said yes.
“Yes, Lord, I love you, I need you, and I want to serve you!”
From then on they amended their lives, taking conversion seriously, and worked towards holiness. They knew they weren’t holy or perfect. Just read up any of the letters from St. Paul in the Bible, or the writings from St. Faustina, St. Teresa of Calcutta or St. Therese of Lisieux. They never thought too highly of themselves; all you’ll find is modesty and littleness from them.
But in that littleness, in recognizing their dependence on God, it was then they were able to possess the strength and graces needed to do great things. That’s why the testimony of the saints is so important for us to remember. They are examples of individuals surrendering to the love and mercy of God, allowing Him to work through them, and being living reflections of the goodness of God. If they were great, it is because the Lord is so great!
That’s what holiness is about. And it goes hand-in-hand with conversion. You can’t work on your conversion without striving for holiness.
So, the next time you hear the word holiness, don’t believe it is impossible for you. Don’t knock yourself, and cower in fear.
Just try. Work on it. And don’t give up.
Even if you fall every now and then, it doesn’t matter. Take the Rosary. Keep going, because it is the attempt that pleases Him more than we can imagine. And every attempt only draws us closer to Him. All the Lord wants from us is our yes, He’ll take care of the rest. Our Lady, the Holy Spirit, the Angels, and the Saints are all there to help us, too. We’re in good hands!
So, today let’s think about holiness and conversion not as an impossible chore reserved only for the selected few, but for all of us who are so loved by the Lord and our Blessed Mother. Let’s ask Jesus and Mary to help us to live this call to holiness with love, faith, and patience!
1) August 25, 2001 – “Dear children! Today I call all of you to decide for holiness. May for you, little children, always in your thoughts and in each situation holiness be in the first place, in work and in speech. In this way, you will also put it into practice; little by little, step by step, prayer and a decision for holiness will enter into your family. Be real with yourselves and do not bind yourselves to material things but to God. And do not forget, little children, that your life is as passing as a flower. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
2) October 25, 2015 – “Dear children! Also today, my prayer is for all of you, especially for all those who have become hard of heart to my call. You are living in the days of grace and are not conscious of the gifts which God is giving to you through my presence. Little children, decide also today for holiness and take the example of the saints of this time and you will see that holiness is a reality for all of you. Rejoice in the love, little children, that in the eyes of God you are unrepeatable and irreplaceable, because you are God’s joy in this world. Witness peace, prayer and love. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
3) October 25, 2003 – “Dear children! I call you anew to consecrate yourselves to my heart and the heart of my Son Jesus. I desire, little children, to lead you all on the way of conversion and holiness. Only in this way, through you, we can lead all the more souls on the way of salvation. Do not delay, little children, but say with all your heart: “I want to help Jesus and Mary that all the more brothers and sisters may come to know the way of holiness.” In this way, you will feel the contentment of being friends of Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
4) February 25, 2007 – Dear children! Open your heart to God’s mercy in this Lenten time. The Heavenly Father desires to deliver each of you from the slavery of sin. Therefore, little children, make good use of this time and through meeting with God in confession, leave sin and decide for holiness. Do this out of love for Jesus, who redeemed you all with His blood, that you may be happy and in peace. Do not forget, little children: your freedom is your weakness, therefore follow my messages with seriousness. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
5) July 25, 2007 – “Dear children! Today, on the day of the Patron of your Parish, I call you to imitate the lives of the Saints. May they be, for you, an example and encouragement to a life of holiness. May prayer for you be like the air you breathe in and not a burden. Little children, God will reveal His love to you and you will experience the joy that you are my beloved. God will bless you and give you an abundance of grace. Thank you for having responded to my call.”