Sanctity and the Plenitude of Grace
Presence of God – I draw near to Jesus, the “fountain of life and holiness,” with an ardent desire to drink from this inexhaustible fount.
If Jesus came to sanctify all, if it is God’s will that “all should be saints,” then sanctity cannot consist in extraordinary gifts of nature and grace, which depend solely upon God’s liberality.
Sanctity, therefore, must consist in something that all souls of good will, even the simplest and most humble, can attain, sustained by the divine assistance. Sanctity is the perfection of the Christian life. It is the full development in us of the supernatural life, whose beginnings are sanctifying grace, the infused virtues, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Baptism has deposited within us this seed of sanctity, which is grace, a seed capable of blossoming into precious fruits of supernatural and eternal life for the soul which zealously cultivates it.
By elevating us to the supernatural state, grace makes us capable of entering into relations with the Blessed Trinity, that is, capable of knowing and loving God as He is in Himself, as He knows and loves Himself. Grace, therefore, engenders and nourishes a new life of knowledge and love in us, a life which is a participation in the divine life. What could be holier or more sanctifying than these intimate relations with the Blessed Trinity? Such are the lofty heights to which grace raises us, and this gift is bestowed on all who have been baptized.
O my sweet Savior, it was not only for certain privileged souls, but also for me, that You willed to merit the fullness of the life of grace which is sanctity. I understand that the infinite love which made You become incarnate for us and become one of us, which made You who are God, suffer death on the Cross and shed Your precious Blood for us, is more than sufficient to merit not only the salvation, but even the sanctification of the whole human race.
Why then are there so few who really become saints? Why am I so backward on the way of sanctity, I who, because I have received from You not only the gift of holy Baptism, but also that of so many confessions and Holy Communions, should already have greatly increased my treasure of grace; I who have received so many actual graces, inspirations, and invitations, and have been called by Your infinite love to a state of consecrated life?
O my Lord, make me understand it well: You created me without any help from me, but You will not save me, You will not sanctify me, without my help. You have already merited all that serves for my sanctification; Your gifts are unnumbered, but I shall not become a saint unless I cooperate with You.
You alone are holy and You alone can make me holy, and yet You demand my full cooperation to such a degree that, if I refuse it, You will not make me a saint, despite Your omnipotence and infinite love.
O Jesus, by my sloth, my scanty love, my coldness, I can nullify all Your merits, all the Blood which You shed on the Cross. How could a miserable creature who owes everything to his God, be so bold as to oppose and hinder His action in his soul? Shall I, a little worm, have the audacity to do this? O Lord, never allow me to act thus; pursue me with Your grace until I give myself entirely to You.
To prove to You that I am sincere, I intend, with Your help, to be generous, to overcome myself in the things which cost me most, and to say “yes” to You, even when it is most repugnant to my evil nature. Help me with Your all-powerful aid, assist and sustain my poor efforts, for You know that I am weakness itself. Grant, O Lord, that I may drink from the fountain of living water which has its source in You, the fountain of life and grace, of strength and holiness, so that when my thirst is quenched, I can once again continue with fresh ardor along the way You point out to me.
Note from Dan: This post on Sanctity and the Plenitude of Grace is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.
Art: The Holy Trinity, miniature from the Grandes Heures [Great Hours] of Anne of Brittany, Queen consort of France (1477-1514). f. 155v. God the Father on left, Jesus on right, holding book with seven seals open to Alpha and Omega passage, dove of Holy Spirit in center, “animal” symbols of Four Evangelists in corners, Jean Bourdichon, 1503-1508, PD-US, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.