Is it possible to live a life of holiness as a normal human being in this secular world? Honestly, I don't know. I do know, though, that I am trying.
I am trying to find God's will and purpose for my life every day. It's difficult, trying to subscribe to the teaching, dogmas and requirements of my Catholic Faith in word, thought and deed, while simultaneously conversing and intermingling with a society that largely rejects most of those teachings. Living faithfully to God's will at the very least can be challenging, and sometimes seemingly impossible.
But then I remember Scripture, with God all things are possible. So, yes, it is possible to live a life of holiness, even when immersed in the cesspool of this world. But, it can only be accomplished through the Grace of God and with the aid of the Holy Spirit, and we cannot tap into that Grace without significant time allotted for study, prayer, reflection and meditation. This type of Grace is not something that we find in the business and craziness of our hectic schedules and Earthly commitments, this Grace is found in the quiet, the solitude, and the stillness of God's presence within our hearts and minds.
So many of us, especially this time of year, are so busy scrambling to ready and prepare ourselves for Christmas that we totally miss the gift of quiet and peace that can be found in the very act of waiting and watchfulness. That is sad, and a shame.
God comes to us not in the clanging of symbols or the roar of the earthquake, but in the still, quiet voice that we must silence our hearts and souls to hear and receive. We need to slow down long enough to find Christ amid the chaos in this world. Once we do that, we can tap into the holiness and Grace we need to go out and spread the Gospel to all the world, or at least our little corners of it. Whether that be at a coffee shop, the grocery store, our workplaces, our churches, the internet and social media or even on the street corner. We must preach and take God's word and message to all the ends of the earth, to every crack and crevice we come across.
Jesus only spent three years in public ministry. The rest of His life is referred to as the 'quiet' or 'lost' years. The years that are not mentioned in the Gospels, the years that are mysterious and unknown. The years spent in quiet solitude listening to His Heavenly Father and preparing to burst onto the scene with cataclysmic challenges and ripples. He touched many lives and continues to touch hearts that soften themselves for Him, and then those hearts and lives infused with that Grace touch many others, and so on down through generations and centuries.
We, too, are given the task of bursting onto the scene with cataclysmic results. We will do this no matter what. What we do does matter; it affects those around us more than we will ever know, and those effects can be positive or negative, holy or evil. It is in the quiet and stillness that our hearts and minds are conformed to what those actions will be. What we reap within ourselves is what the world will be the benefactor of. Don't get lost in the noise!
Find the quiet, find the holiness, find the Grace. It is everywhere, and the effortlessness in which it presents itself can be for us the action that takes the most effort, as we quiet ourselves to receive the gifts that God has to offer us so that we can then offer them in turn to the world.
Christ breaks forth in the stillness of the night, in the quiet and peace of midnight. Let our Hearts rest in the stillness we find during Advent, With the effort and desire to so, our spirits can break forth into the world, and our hearts can shine as brightly as that great star so many years ago. That star that led so many to Christ. We can be that star leading others to Christ.
Peace and Quiet be with you all! Happy Advent and Merry Christmas