The Real Possibility of Holiness

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

holinessI remember when all three of my children were learning to swim. In the beginning, it seemed like no matter how much assurance I gave them, they were certain they would drown. Even after watching me float in the water, they were pretty sure their bodies were created to sink. In time, they grew more comfortable in the water. Eventually, they could even swim the length of the pool. But this did not happen overnight. They had to grow in their faith that swimming was possible, not just for others, but for them as well.

Too many of us who are Christians believe that holiness is for someone else. We believe that the stories of the saints are about super humans who had something in greater supply than us. When our faith is weak, we assume that we can never have the faith of these holy men and women.

On the contrary, faith and holiness are not things only possible for a few. But we must practice our faith to grow in our faith. We must strive for holiness if we are to become holy.

Like a child fears the water before learning to swim, we often fear the path that leads to greater faith or holiness. We are not convinced that God can work in our lives to create a saint. Yet except for Mary, the Immaculate Conception, every saint was a sinner. God called every saint to exit the boat and walk toward Jesus on the water. In time, with practice and trust in God, they found they did not sink either.

Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS