Striving for Holiness

Today is another one of those, look behind look ahead moments. You will read this on the Feast of the Holy Family, 10 days from now. Christmas will have passed, and we will be knocking on the door our of our New Year calendar year, 2019. My thanks were extended last week to all of you parishioners who have become, and have been, active in some of our parish ministries…especially the Eucharistic Adoration Guild members, because the growth of this the most sacred of devotions brings great blessings upon the parish.

Last evening, December 19, we had our Advent Parish penance service, which was relatively well attended, with more than 150 parishioners taking advantage of the nine priests that were present. I mention this because, our receipt of the Sacrament of Confession, on a regular basis, is critical to the success of any genuine quest for Holiness. And, “Yes”, striving to be holy should be a primary concern. and objective, for every Catholic…(actually for every human being). Every family has just received a copy of Matthew Kelly’s new book… “The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity”. I highly encourage everyone to read the book it is an easy, enjoyable and enlightening read. It will not ruin your enjoyment to know that the “Biggest Lie” is Satan’s constant deception that for us humans, Holiness is not at all possible! When you buy into that lie, and default to a lifestyle full of compromises to faith and morals… guess what? A Peaceful, Happy, and Holy life becomes unattainable. The book you received convincingly relates that that prevalent secular mindset in today’s world… that holiness is not possible, is the greatest of lies. So far, it has been one of Satan’s most successful deceptions. Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, and Pope John Paul II all vehemently preached that the practice of making a regular Confession is fundamental to pursuing and attaining a Holy Life. Because with Confession, the sins that slip into our day-to-day lives ( due to our human weaknesses and concupiscence), are quickly eradicated and with sanctifying grace that accompanies the sacrament we heal stronger and holier than before. God is real. Heaven is real. Hell is real. And we have been told that only holiness will be received into heaven. The choice is ours. Holiness is indeed possible. And as I’ve mentioned many times, our striving… our relentless quest for holiness and our frequent use of confession to stay holy… are highly pleasing to our Savior.

With a New Year (and our next Holy Day of Obligtion) but a day away, why not Make regular/frequent Confession (at least every 4 to 8 weeks)… your #1 New Year’s Resolution? And then, Resolution #2, Become a regular “Committed Adorer” at Eucharistic Adoration…which will certainly add great weight to the success of your personal Quest for Holiness. No, achieving complete holiness is not easy. However… no loss of happiness, stress, despair or despondency will creep in. You will be constantly bathed in the comforting warmth of Sanctifying Grace. Please take an evening to read the gift book, and enhance your love of God and your Faith, and your Quest for Holiness by taking advantage of your free access to the “Formed” resources the Parish has gifted to you. If you have any Questions or difficulty with accessing “Formed”, please call our “Formed Coordinator” at (904) 738-9719 and you will receive help.

So, as we continue to strive for holiness, and as we continue to celebrate the Birth of Our Savior…right on through the remaining days of this Christmas Season…up to the Feast of the Epiphany…let us prayerfully ask Him (and allow Him) to overcome all our Fears with our Hope. And this is not a hope of, “I hope so,” but the hope of “I know so.” Jesus, I trust in You!

Merry Christmas and a most Blessed New Year,