I suppose that it is easy enough to look at the spiritual journey and get caught up in all of the details of how to get from point “U” (unworthy) to point “H” (Holy). In one form or another everyone understands that as the end game of living the spiritual life. Some of us may even have an understanding of this journey that is even more comprehensive like St. Augustine when he prayed: “Lord make me holy, but not yet.” I find great wisdom in the teachings and writings of Bishop Robert Barron. He can turn a theological point or concept and deliver a message that is crystal clear and unencumbered. Such as this:
The law [of God] was always meant to bring humanity into line with divinity. Bishop Robert Barron
That’s it in a nutshell, the whole of the spiritual life. Now some may be thinking when they read this they are viewing an impossibility. Others may be of the opinion that this statement is silly because how can a human be divine? If that is the case it’s time for you to re-think. There are responsibilities in imitating Jesus that go far beyond simply striving to be a “good person”. That, in itself, is only the beginning. Once you have accepted the responsibility of becoming a follower of Jesus there is much more work to do. Stepping up to the plate and accepting the reality of being Christian opens the door to what God wants for us, not what we want for ourselves. The great commission is not optional!
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Mt 28: 18-20)
Is any of this easy to do? Of course not. Are we able to get to this state through willing it, through earnest practice? Of course not! That’s why love is referred to as a theological virtue. It is the sheerest participation in the divine life, and it can only come from God. (Bishop Robert Barron in his commentary on the Gospel 6/19/2017)
The ability to do this, though, is not a talent we automatically possess. Rather, it is something we have to work at, the Divine Life. It’s only when we constantly aim at emulating Jesus and the way he lived that we will gain the talent to do what the Lord wants from us. We have no choice but to aim at divinity! Copping a plea and stating or believing that we are not able to be that holy is a distraction, a lie, an impediment to what God wants for us. You are expected to work at being divine. It is a possibility for each of us humans. Gone are the times when you could simply pretend that being holy was not something you could do. Too bad. As they say you can’t unhear the truth! Point “H” in the view finder!
Copyright© 2017, Kathryn M. Cunningham