Striving for Holiness

Striving for Holiness

The following is an excerpt from Friar Jack’s E-spirations, a free e-newsletter from Franciscan Media. This meditation is offered by Father Jim Van Vurst, OFM.

The word holiness can have a discouraging effect on people. Some immediately dismiss it, perhaps a bit sadly, because they believe that whatever it is, holiness is way beyond their reach. They think of their failures and sins, and figure that if they could only get rid of them, then they could start thinking about holiness.

Others become frustrated because they have sincerely tried most of their lives to be holy and, in the end, see themselves as advancing nowhere near holiness. Finally, others link holiness with saints’ lives and think: Well, there is no contest. After all, that’s why they are saints and we’re not.

Given all those difficulties, it’s no wonder that many believe their busy but humdrum lives weigh them down like cinder blocks tied to their ankles. Though it is understandable to think that way, it draws a totally false conclusion because the initial premise is wrong.

First of all, people mistakenly link holiness with perfection. It’s like they say, “Well, I’m not holy enough to be holy.”

There are no perfect people, and there are no perfect saints. Saints would be the first ones to proclaim their failings and sins. …

Holiness is union with God. And how do we become holy? Simply by seeking God’s will in our lives!

Now this sounds so ordinary and so simple that it’s almost absurd. We exclaim, “Well, anyone could do that!” That’s exactly my point.


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