Monday, May 27, 2013

A Pat on the Back or a Kick in the Pants?

My mind goes to many things as I get ready in the morning. This morning, I thought about the man who asks Jesus what he has to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him to follow the commandments. If you are reading this blog, you probably already try to do that. People who routinely break the commandments aren't likely to click on a blog that is called Catholic By Grace.

It's the next part of the story that is meant for you and me.

The man tells Jesus that he already follows the commandments. So he asks, "What else must I do?"

Do you have a spiritual companion in the journey? Do you have a spiritual director? If you have a go-to person in the faith, imagine asking him this question. The ultimate question we all have for our spiritual director is really the same one this man asked of Jesus.

What must I do to be holy (or what must I stop doing to be holy) because I want to inherit eternal life?

There really is no point in asking the question if we are unwilling to hear the answer. Our spiritual director could pat us on the back and say that we are doing great. Keep on keeping on, brother.

But if he knows us really well, if he knows us like Jesus knew this man, then he knows what is keeping us from becoming holy.

What happens next is important. It is probably the most important moment because it is the moment that plants your feet on the path to holiness or the path to selfishness.

Now is the time to be docile to the Holy Spirit.

Now is not the time for the word can't.

Now is the time for the phrase by the Power of the Holy Spirit, I can, and I want to.

Are you following the commandments?

You probably are.

But there is more to be done, and you probably already know it. Perhaps your spiritual director has already named it.

What happens next is important--probably the most important moment because it is the moment when you plant your feet on the path to holiness--or you keep on keeping on.

Let your spiritual director lead the way. If you have no intention of listening to him, then what's the point of having a spiritual director in the first place? It's almost as bad as not having one at all.

And if you don't have one, remember what St. Teresa of Avila said. The man who has himself for a spiritual director has a fool for a spiritual director.


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