We are on retreat at the monastery. It’s an annual week of silence, a profound rest for body and mind and spirit. Our retreat director, retired Bishop Joseph Charron, is speaking on the topic, “Renewing the Desire to be Holy” all week, during morning and afternoon conferences.
The rest of the time is spent in silence and community prayer. We walk, draw, write, take photos, listen to music – whatever opens our hearts and minds to God. Bishop Joe’s talks do that, too.
Today’s talk was on the Call to Holiness. As Bishop Joe shared, each and every one of us – sisters, brothers, priests, married and single – is called to holiness. He shared a few things that often make us stumble on our path holiness:
1. Nurturing a negative self-image. We need to love ourselves to be able to answer and recognize God calling and loving us.
2. Being lukewarm. We tend to be satisfied with how things are going in life. We tend to think what we are doing is good enough, because changes are hard to make. We need to commit to change.
3. Wanting to do things our way. That is, we feel we need to find holiness OUR way, instead of following the Holy Spirit. How do we follow the Holy Spirit? We must pray, and listen. In silence. With patience.
4. Making the excuse that we will do it later. We live in a restless culture. Busyness gets in our way. (For me, it’s very easy to say, I am too busy with work, or it’s report card time. For someone else, it’s easy to say I am too busy with family, or I have 3 graduations in one month.) We need to set our priorities and follow them.
But what we need to remember is that life is not a dress rehearsal. Life is real. Life is now. If we want to meet God and be filled with God’s love and grace, we need to do it now. We can’t let any excuses get in the way.