YE-S-S-S! Sanctified, Serving, Sacrificial. The four words that keep Catholic Christians aware of the special Divine favor they were given. In previous article, Sanctification Is A Process, I wrote of the initiation into God’s sovereign will for all His creation, to be holy and to live a holy life. Such is the aim of God’s Salvation plan for man. Salvation is a process that begins with God’s initiative to the soul of man to sanctify it, enabling our service of love out in the world as is stated in John Chapter 15: verse 5: "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” Logically, we cannot come to know God, love God and thus SERVE God without God beginning the connection of ONE FAITH in Him, which He began with the soul we know as Mary, who became the sinless vessel for the sinless Savior, bringing about the new covenant ‘paradise’ of God and man again, as was in the beginning — commonly known today as the Christian faith and church of Jesus Christ. With faith in what Christ established; Catholic Christians stay connected to God — Father, Son, Holy Spirit through this mystical human and Divine ‘body’ of a sacramental life with Christ.
With our every YE-S-S-S of faith in His work of Sanctified Grace and YE-S-S-S to serve others we bring ourselves to attain the same holiness Mary was given. Mary, our human example of what God wills for all His human creation — that holiness that will raise us up to our true heavenly destination some day!
Sacraments are the practical action to faith in Christ’s words spoken in Matthew Chapter 28:20: ‘I am with you always until the end of time.’ We are fed and nourished by His very real presence in the bread He held up at Last Supper and spoke: ‘Take and eat, this bread is my body and this drink is my blood.’ We experience Christ’s forgiving nature when we confess to those given apostolic authority to forgive and absolve us from our sins, 7x 70x. We ‘offer up’ in union with His supreme Sacrifice! (Article on sacrificial coming next) All this by the power of the Holy Spirit that built this ‘human and Divine body.’ This is trust in God, the trust that Eve and Adam lacked in God’s word to them and instead did in accord their own free will and understanding serving their own interest. This is why Catholics give honor to Mary, the new Eve, who spoke ‘not my will but yours be done’ bringing the Holy Spirit to overshadow her soul. Catholics understand that with the infused Divine life given by Baptism, life is eternal, all things are ‘same’ — toss the watches and calendars if you want!
Most humans’ free will choice is that of married or single state of life. The vocational ‘call’ of the religious life as priest, brother, sister, nun is a vocational call to serve that comes direct from God, as Mary’s call to serve was a direct ‘call to action’ for service to God and humanity. This higher calling is known as Holy Orders and is a Sacrament in the Church. In Holy Matrimony, man and woman unite ‘in and with Christ’ to work with the Holy Spirit (love) and God, Creator, to help bring each other up to heaven someday as well as work with the Creator to bring new life, body and soul, to be. Holy Matrimony of man and woman is also Sacrament but not a vocational ‘call’ from God nor is remaining single a vocational ‘call’ from God. Single life is mankind’s free will choice to serve others in the world as well as perhaps one’s birth family.
Butcher, baker, candlestick maker — what you do for actual livelihood is entirely up to your go(o)d mind as understanding of certain ‘gift(s)’ or ‘abilities’ are revealed through education. If in tune to God by way of a prayerful life in His holy Church, living well the Sanctified Grace God has given, God will direct your steps in how to go from classroom ‘facts’ to ‘acts’ of service that brings each of us not only paycheck on Friday but growth of His gifts of knowledge, understanding, counsel, and wisdom to our human self aka the supernatural life of God. This ability to ‘labor for neighbor’ is called actual grace from God to assist our journey upward.