The Road to Holiness Starts With Significant Failure…
Thoughts that drive me to Jesus Christ, and His cross:
The king’s demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people.” Daniel 2:11 NLT
605 “Father, how can you stand such filth?” you asked me after a contrite confession. I said nothing, thinking that if your humility makes you feel like that—like filth, a heap of filth!—then we may yet turn all your weakness into something really great.
The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One. While he looks at Christ, the very things he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him. It will be God working in him to will and to do.…
When the wisemen around the King heard his demand, they heard only a death sentence, for they knew all their intellect and wisdom was not up to the king’s demand. And unknowingly scripture records a prophetic statement – that only a God that would live among men could possibly save them.
There was no other way. The task was too great.
Daniel will step in, and walking with God will have the impossible made possible, the unknowable revealed, and will become the savior of the wisemen. All of them, even those who served other gods and demons.
His words to the king reinforced this: it isn’t about our strength or power.
And it is not because I am wiser than anyone else that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart. Daniel 2:30 NLT
That’s why St Josemaria finds hope for the man confessing the filthiest of sins. For he has realized the need for assistance that only God can provide. Not only can He help and heal us, He will. He promised that help, that comfort.
Similarly, Tozer finds that the man so convinced that he cannot purify himself has finally reached the point where holiness is assured – because his only option is to look to Jesus!
Therefore, while receiving the sacraments is important, it is critical to meditate on what God is doing, as He sprinkled water on us, as He feeds us His body and Blood, as we realize what it means for Him to say, “My Child, you are forgiven all your sin, all injustice has been cleaned from our lives. We need to think that through, not just 2 minutes before church. These sacraments were not established, so God could look down on us as well behaving muppets. He established them so that we could be ministered to, so that we would have something tangible to remember, to think through, to have our souls captivated by. As He captures out hearts and minds, we reflect His glory into the dark world in which we live. That is what holiness is, to be so caught up in the relationship that we unconsciously take on the image of Jesus.
Our God is here. He is with us… and He makes us holy, as we find peace in His presence.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way . Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
A. W. Tozer, Tozer for the Christian Leader (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2015).