In my last article I wrote of the four words every good Catholic should keep front and center in the mind as they walk with Christ here on earth. YE-S-S-S! Sanctified, Serving, Sacrificial. This is the essence of life as a Catholic Christian. We say YES to God’s will be done, as He so ‘calls’ to each of us individually to serve God and neighbor rather than to choose our own will.
The sovereign will of God is that we become holy and a holy life (Godly life) is a transforming process called in name — Sanctification.
Sanctification. The official definition of sanctification: a supernatural gift given by God through the power of the Holy Spirit who infuses to the soul the love of God. Through the work of Baptism, a soul is cleansed of that original sin of Adam and Eve resulting in soul now able to hear God’s counsel. Baptism begins the process of a Divine union, as it was in the beginning — man and God together again. The continuation of the one faith, in God, as was given to Mary, when Mary was conceived in heaven pure of soul (sinless) and the faith given to 12 followers that came after Mary and given Holy orders to go and baptize all nations in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
As Catholic Christians we emerge from that baptismal water – with the holy indwelling presence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yes, even if just an infant who gurgles incoherently the goo goo’s and ga-ga’s and in natural sight sports a ‘whe-eew’ — dirty diaper! Through the power of the Holy Spirit this child possesses the supernatural life of Christ, and is one more believer in a long line of believers ready to learn of God and serve God.
STAY CLEAN! The words any child remembers mom or dad saying as they dressed their child in the Sunday best clothes for a visit to grandparent(s) or other special outing. The child, of a child-like curious mind, will more times than not find the one muddy water puddle to walk, run, or stand in while waiting for mom and dad to get ready themselves. In spiritual understanding of what comes naturally to natural humanity, Catholic Christians understand they will not stay holy or grow in the maturity of the Holy Spirit of Christ, our life, if we wait for God, our Father, out in ‘the world.’ We will, in our natural human nature, find abundant muddy waters that tempt us from the Divine and supernatural life given at Baptism. Catholics understand also that we do not become holy by the natural work we get to do in the world, the good work that brings both material and spiritual blessing. That natural work is the result of actual grace, and the second ‘S’ of YE-S-S-S – Serving. (Article to come) Jesus understood our dilemma of staying ‘clean’ and called us out of that world of muck and mud to a family both human and Divine and filled with His HOLY graced presence.
To grow in Holiness that will bring us to the perfect wholeness of the heavenly realm, we need to trust in The Way Christ established. This is the to have trust and faith in what God has said. Just as God once provided a perfect paradise to Adam and Eve, until Eve and Adam went their own way, God again renewed the Divine covenant and gave to those with faith in His words a ‘paradise’ of union with Him — through His Church. As Eve was helpmate to Adam, from a rib taken from Adam’s side, we see with eyes of faith the mystery of the blood and water that flowed from the side of Jesus Christ. In that mystery was the formation of our spiritual helpmate, the Holy mystical human and Divine body of Christ, also known as The Church Of Jesus Christ. The blood from Christ’s side a sign of what would be the real body and blood of Christ taken through the Holy Eucharist and the water sign of the blessed waters of Baptism that wash souls clean of original sin. For additional in-depth reading, seek out the words of one John Chrysostom, preacher in the early church.
THE CHURCH and the Sacraments of His life — is The Way of transformation; it is ‘the process’ of sanctification.
Next article will be on What It Means To Serve.