WHAT IS HOLINESS?
And what does God want of me?
Holiness is simply this: perfect conformity to
the will of God in all things, at all times, and in all places.
It is to will what God wills.
It is to act as God would have you act.
It is the perfect correspondence between who and what you are, and who and
what God wants you to be.
It is that simple.
“Be you therefore perfect …”
“Estote ergo vos perfecti, sicut et Pater vester
Caelestis perfectus est”
“Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly
Father is perfect.” (St. Matthew 5.48)
“And he said to all: If any man will come after
me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
(St. Luke 9.23)
Attending a seminary will not make you holy — although if you are a straight,
heterosexual male who possesses clear masculine attributes, it is likely
that you will never
be permitted to be ordained. That is reserved for the effeminate or homosexual
male only. While this is not Catholic policy (and in fact is
contradictory to, and in open defiance
of very clear Church teaching), it is nevertheless the actual state of affairs.
One does not take “courses” or "sign up for workshops" in being holy —
although there are many good books that will help lead you into
holiness — and virtually all of them were published prior to 1960. After
the decadent 1960s and the cataclysmic collapse of the Church following Vatican II within that same
decade, quite nearly everything published under the auspices of the title
“Catholic” — was not.
The self-inflicted wound that came to be called “Ecumenism” simply meant
repudiating, renouncing, and even vilifying what is authentically,
historically, and uniquely Catholic in a failed effort to assuage the
animus of those hostile to us — or, as happened more often, simply to
apostasize to religious indifferentism (all religions are equally
good and all lead to the same God) … and eventually came to mean little more than a thinly veiled pantheism.
1 In effect, we became "them" who refused to become "us".
Christ was torn from the Cross and the Cross became a token of shame.
To be a Catholic (that is to say, one faithful to the historical Magisterium
and teaching of the Catholic Church … in other words, a Catholic) was to
be “intolerant”, although this concept oddly did not apply to Judaism,
Protestantism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or Islam — or even Atheism and
Secularism within that same period … and even now. Only Catholics,
apparently, have the capacity for and
susceptibility to “intolerance”.
Anyone, of course, who holds fast to a teaching, doctrine, or dogma, does
not accept as licit anything to the contrary and vigorously opposes what
conflicts with that teaching: it is what differentiates ideas and concepts,
rather than conflating them into a contradictory pudding that is meant to
be agreeable to everyone however much it flies in the face of reason.
The impediment of logic
Even logic itself is tossed aside as an impediment to the countless
irreconcilable contradictions inherent in Ecumenism. To wit, the Law of
the Excluded Middle holds that two things cannot both be
and not be at one and the same time. You are
reading this column or you are not reading this
column. You cannot be both reading and not reading this
column. It is an inescapable contradiction. "The Holy Eucharist is
really and truly the Body and Blood of Christ " and "The Holy Eucharist
is not really and truly the Body and Blood of Christ" are
reciprocally contradictory and mutually exclusive statements (and
beliefs). It either is, or it is not, really and truly the Body and
Blood of Christ. It logically (and even existentially) cannot be both.
Perhaps logic itself was the first casualty of Vatican II and Ecumenism.
Capitalists, as another example, have very distinct and differing concepts of economies
from Communists. Each will argue that its own ideology is incompatible with
and contradictory to the others’. Ideologically there can be no Capitalist
Communists, or Communist Capitalists. They are not just different, but opposing
Pro-Lifers and Pro-Abortionists also have distinct and differing concepts
that logically conflict with one another. Ideologically there can be no
Pro-life Pro-Abortionists, or Pro-Abortion Pro-Lifers. Once again, they
are not just different, but opposing ideologies. Each is subtended by differing
and opposite views on life, conception, death, and murder.
However … and oddly enough, only Pro-life advocates are intolerant, while Pro-Abortion advocates
are not … hmmmm….
But to return to holiness: as we have seen, Christ calls us to perfection,
and this entails denying oneself daily (very difficult, but doable), taking
up the Cross (not a very pleasant thing to do) and following Him (the success
of which alone is afforded by both Sanctifying Grace and Actual Grace —
century-old terms no longer used because they are no longer taught or understood).
The hard work of holiness
This is the work of holiness, of personal sanctification — and there
is no more urgent need in our lives.
- “oppressive and sinful ‘structures’ in the world”
- feminist “language neutering”
- "structural sin"
- “collaborative ministry”
- “oppressive patriarchal structures”
- “social justice” (this comes with holiness, not
- “social and political 'activism'”
is the language of the world, of liberal academia, of militant feminism
— not of Christ. It is the language of those
who detest the Church but remain within her for “a living”; it is the childish
and neologistic ravings of dissident theologians and radical feminists (also
making a living off the Church). They are “catholic” in being “universally”
contemptible of the Church and Her teachings. They have left being “Catholic”
None of this will lead you to holiness. None of it.
Only Christ can. And He does:
- If any man will come after me, let him
himself, and take up his cross daily, and
follow Me.” (St. Luke
- “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly
Father is perfect.” (St. Matthew 5.48)
An intimate affair
Holiness is an intimate affair — between you and God.
He does not ask you, anywhere in the Gospels, to change the world
… but to change yourself — to take up your Cross and
to follow Him ... not the world. 2
He is our paradigm of Holiness ... as is His Holy Mother Mary
who gave us that beautiful, immemorial utterance,
"Be it done to me according to thy word." (St. Luke 1.37) In
other words, as we said earlier, only conformity to the will of God —
not the world — is the essence of holiness.
Imitate them. Not the world, just as Saint Paul did: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate
Please God, let us now also say with Saint Paul, “I
live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me.” 4
Saint John, perhaps, sums it up best:
“Love not the world, nor the things
which are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity
of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world,
is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence
of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the
Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away,
and the concupiscence thereof: but he that doth the will
of God, abideth for ever. (1 John 2.15-17)
Whom and what, then, will you follow if you seek to be holy?
Christ or the world? It is absolutely clear that you cannot follow both.
Each path diverges totally from the other, and the longer you
remain on one path the farther you will be from the other.
Boston Catholic Journal
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“Pope Benedict XVI leads an interfaith peace meeting in the Basilica of
St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi, Italy, Oct. 27. Pictured, from left, are:
Archbishop Norvan Zakarian of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Anglican Archbishop
Rowan Williams of Canterbury and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople,
Pope Benedict, Rabbi David Rosen, representing the chief rabbinate of Israel;
Wande Abimbola, president of a Nigerian institute that promotes the study
of the culture and traditional religion of the Yoruba people; and Shrivatsa
Goswami, a Hindu delegate”.
“ASSISI, Italy (AP) – “Pope Benedict XVI joined Buddhist monks, Islamic
scholars, Yoruba leaders and a handful of agnostics in making a communal
call for peace Thursday, insisting that religion must never be used as a
pretext for war or terrorism. Benedict welcomed some 300 leaders representing
a rainbow of faiths to the hilltop Italian town of Assisi to commemorate
the 25th anniversary of a daylong prayer for peace here called by Pope John
Paul II in 1986 amid Cold War conflicts.
Standing on the altar of St. Mary of the Angels basilica, Wande Abimbola
of Nigeria, representing Africa's traditional Yoruba religion, sang and
shook a percussion instrument as he told the delegates that peace can only
come with greater respect for indigenous religions.
"We must always remember that our own religion, along with the religions
practiced by other people, are valid and precious in the eyes of the Almighty,
who created all of us with such plural and different ways of life and belief
systems," he said.
Blessed John Paul II, on the contrary, intuited the public force of religions,
despite secularization. He knew that religions could be attractive to war-like
passions. Worried about the cold war, he invited leaders of Christian religions
and other world religions to Assisi.
2 St. Matthew 4.8; St. Mark 4.19; St. Luke 4.5,
12.30; St. John 7.7, 14.17, 15.19, 16.33, 17.9, 17.14, 17.16; Gal. 6.14;
Colossians 2.8, 2.20; 2 St. Peter 1.4, 2.20; 1 St. John 2.15-17
3 I Cor. 11
4 Gal. 2.20