Following on from yesterday’s reflection it is good to spend a few moments discussing the nature of a virtuous life as it seems that there are not too many people who manage such a life. Yes, we all have our moments of virtue but what makes a saint stand out against all the rest of us is that his or her virtuous moments are sustained for long periods at a high level. It is relatively easy to get it right once in a while and even less frequently manage to string a few of these moments together for a longer period of time, however, the true life of virtue is much more than this.

 

When we study the lives of the saints, and this is what we should spend some time doing in order to be inspired by them, we should be opening our hearts to the graces that make possible their response to God’s call. I wonder how many lives of the saints you are really familiar with? It would be a travesty of the gift their lives are to the Church for us to be familiar with only a few! Why limit ourselves unnecessarily when there is so much inspiration available to men and women who want to increase their faith. I am sure most of us have spent some time reading the books of John Maxwell or Stephen Covey et al; I hope that we are familiar with more lives of the saints than these modern day inspirers. The saints all get one thing right that most if not all of the modern day ‘self-help’ gurus fail to do, namely that the key to success is surrender to the grace of God first and foremost. No amount of clever tricks and strategies will avail of more and/or better success than opening up to the grace of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

 

In our secular world today we tend to think that we can do it on our own. When it comes to living a virtuous life nothing could be further from the truth than that!It is only by the grace of God that we will grow in holiness and enter into the gift of eternal life. It is irrelevant how successful we may be by earthly standards when it comes to the following Jesus on the path of salvation.

 

Holy Spirit, I want to surrender more of my life to you. Help me to open my heart and mind to your grace so that I will be able to draw strength from you when the challenges of life get difficult.