In our first reading the Lord said to Moses to tell the people, "Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy." In our second reading St. Paul writing to the Corinthians says, "If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy." At the end of the gospel reading Jesus tells us, "So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." From these verses we hear that we are called to be holy, that we are temples of God, which are holy, and we are called to be perfect like God the Father. Perfect in this passage means love. We are called to love like God. That's a tall order? How do we live a holy and perfect life in today's society?
I went to the Phoenix Men's Conference a few weeks ago and for the past two conferences we've been studying the document that Bishop Olmsted wrote titled, "Into the Breach". In his exhortation Bishop Olmsted calls ALL men to step into the breach, to fill the gaps that have been left behind by the battle that Satan has waged on the Church, the wounding of our children and families, the distortion of the dignity of both men and women. The battle is often hidden, he says, but it is real. One of the key reasons the Church is faltering under the attacks of Satan, Bishop Olmsted says is that, "many Catholic men have not been willing to step into the breach."
And he goes on to give statistics. Since the year 2000, 14 million Catholics have left the faith, religious education of children has dropped by 24%, Catholic school attendance has dropped 19%, infant baptism has dropped by 28%, adult baptism has dropped by 31%, and sacramental Catholic marriages have dropped by 41%. Recent research shows that large numbers of young Catholic men are leaving the faith to become "nones"- men who have no religious affiliation. These are devastating facts. How do we combat this? By living holy lives.
Bishop Olmsted gives us the following seven basic practices to live a holy life:
Along with living these basic practices I would like to add, passing the faith onto our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, our families. If we don't pass it on to them they will find faith somewhere else, or not. Let us be vigilant as we work to live lives of holiness, and spread the faith as we strive to be perfect, as we strive to love like our heavenly Father.BACK TO LIST