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  • Maria Greco

Holy Priority

"If people would do for God what they do for the world, my dear people, what a great number of Christians would go to Heaven."

St. Jean Vianney


What does it mean to serve God in singleness of heart? I often wonder if one can be of the world, abide by the world and still remain at peace with God. I know for certain that in my own experience, it was certainly not possible. While I was living for the world, it was not possible for me to attain peace with God. "You cannot serve both God and mammon."* I would try to justify my actions by telling myself that times have changed and so does the clothing. While in a certain sense, yes times have changed, and the clothing does too, but God never changes nor does the call to modesty ever change. So I believe to serve God in singleness of heart, there is no gray area. There is either black or white. Their is either yes or no.


A lot of the choices we make, if not most them are heavily influenced by society and the culture we live in. This is all fine and good if the society and culture we live in is aimed and centered in God, but is our society and culture aimed and centered in God?


"Christ does not force our will, He takes only what we give Him. But He does not give Himself entirely until He sees that we yield ourselves entirely to Him."

St. Teresa of Avila


God is so good to us. How truly patient and gentle He is with us. How long He waits for us, for our hearts, for our yes', for our gaze. How lovingly does He endure our ignorance and bear our burdens, even though we are more than not completely blind to the fact. How many years does He pursue a sinner in order to forgive him. How good He is. Words simply are not adequate to express Him and His goodness.


Do we respond to His goodness? Or rather how do we respond to His goodness.


Our Lord tells us that we are the light of the world, “you are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house."* It is God's unfathomable humility that He has chosen us to be lights in this world; but also what a responsibility this title holds. We are called to go against the darkness of society and culture of our day if it is contrary to God's law, and it is.


"The gift of grace increases as the struggle increases."

St. Rose of Lima


The sacredness of life is being severely persecuted. We see this in the lives of unborn children who are under attack and are being threatened by abortion, the lgbqt movement, immorality and immodesty infiltrating the world through clothing, television, books and magazines, phones. We live in an evil generation. It's now imprudent for families to go to the beach because almost everywhere you turn, men and woman are close to nudity. In raising a family nowadays, how necessary it is to invoke Heaven constantly for strength and support.


I think to respond to God's goodness it is to radically give our lives over to Him holding nothing back. This radical yes involves everything about oneself. From the most minute thing about us to the largest, everything must be surrendered and sacrificed to His service. And only in this way will we understand what He desires of us. And only in this way will we experience true peace.


The picture for this article has two women fully dressed walking the beach. I chose this image for the simple reason that we are also called to bear witness to modesty everywhere, no matter what the "norm" is. I believe that we are called to recreate the "norm" in all areas of society. I believe that the Lord is asking you and I to be bold, not necessarily using words, but rather by a way of life. Men and women are attracted to goodness. We were created with an innate desire for good; for we are made in the image and likeness of God. I believe we are called to have our priorities aligned with God's priorities which are indeed holy priorities. To obey God rather than men.


May our lives be like a sweet smelling incense of holiness that rises up to God. Like lights shining in this dark world, may our lives bear witness to the God of loveliness who truly dwells in our hearts and lights up our darkness.


"I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect."

Romans 12:1-2



St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us.



Notes:

Holy Scripture

Matthew 6:24, 5:14

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