Holiness comes from our alignment with God. Especially in our current time, we may be too busy to stop and reflect. What good can result from this busyness? Not much good. When we don’t pause, our convictions do not take root. They are like seed scattered on rocky soil that takes root only enough to get scorched by the sun (Matthew 13:5-7). Therefore, our actions are based on constant input we receive from the world around us—ever changing and rarely good. Alignment with God requires reflection, devotion, study, and prayer. In fact, “losing the sincere sense of spiritual disciplines,” is a sign that one is about to “perpetrate boundary violations (Rediger 38).” Similarly, St. Ephraim the Syrian, is known to have said “[v]irtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance, suppresses anger, restrains pride and envy, draws down the Holy Spirit in to the soul and raises man to heaven (Logue).” Such alignment with God gives us the strength to hear Him and to fight anything that may hinder us on our way to holiness and integrity. The root of the word virtue “comes from the Latin virtus, which literally meant something like power (Gill 30).” This is the same root for the word “virility,” which still carries a meaning of value and potency (Gill 30). Alignment with God is possible only with God, through His goodness and impartation of virtue—the power to be good.
- I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low for thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, Let it be ratified in heaven.” Amen. John Wesley
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- “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” Thomas Merton