The Call to Goodness and Holiness

The following is the second of a four-part series from our Friends of Mercy newsletter

Read part one

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might."
- Deuteronomy 6:5

"Love is a mystery that transforms everything it touches into things
beautiful and pleasing to God. The love of God makes a soul free."

- Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 890

The following is the second of a four-part series on happiness in Christian living.

The first level of one's vocation is the call to goodness and holiness. When you live this part of your vocation to the full, you can experience true Christian happiness. The call to love God is the first of all commandments. Not only is He your Creator, the One to whom all things owe their existence. He is your Father, Savior, and Redeemer. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for: The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator (27).

So ultimately, you will flourish and find happiness when you respond to the grace of the Holy Spirit. By this grace you will be directed towards your ultimate origin and ultimate end - God. Here are some questions and points to consider when assessing how well you are living your call to goodness and holiness:

• Are you complacent in your love for God? That is, do you recognize that true love never says that one has loved enough, but always desires to love God and be loved by Him more and more each day?
• Do you become over scrupulous, focusing too much upon what you are doing or not doing, instead of focusing upon what He is doing and how He manifests His love to you?
• Do you turn to superficial pleasures or other distractions to bring you comfort when you are feeling down, sad, or burdened, instead
of finding joy in the Father's love for yourself? Do you find His love to be a consolation, comfort, and refuge in times of suffering and trouble?
• If every relationship is sustained by conversation, how frequent is your conversation with God as your Father?

Reflecting upon these questions, it is important to keep in your mind and heart that our God is Love (see 1 Jn 4:8), and the reason you can trust Him and find your fulfillment in Him is because you are created for Him. So, whatever is happening in your life - whether it be good or bad - He is working for the good for those who love Him (see Rom 8:28). Seek Him, and you will find what you are looking for.

Read part three.
Read part four.

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