Matthew 5:48 “You therefore must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Want to know what you need to do (and, if you are anything like me, you’re probably not doing it very well at all.) Read Matthew Chapter 5. You know, the one with the beatitudes, plucking out eyes and cutting off hands, and anger, and adultery, and divorce, and swearing, and retaliation, and loving one’s enemies. One can’t read this Chapter without realizing what little worms we are when it comes to the whole perfection thing. I read Chapter 5 before and after going to confession. This and Chapter 25 are all I need to trot myself off to the confessional. Add the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and I can go all gooey on the inside contemplating my long stay in Purgatory.
And yet. . .
God gives us grace and forgiveness and mercy to help us to prioritize the pursuit of holiness in our lives. Pursuing holiness begins with having a strong, true, and ardent love for God and for our neighbor. It means praying and fasting and making each word and act and little daily sacrifice the means of proving our love for our Savior who died on the cross for Love of us. An effective love can transform a dry, cold heart into a furnace of charity. Then we can burn with Love of God even while we must live here below. I hope you, like myself, pursue this ardent charity.
We got to get this right.
“Lord, with your loving care, guide the penance we have begun. Help us to persevere with love and sincerity. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” Liturgy of the Hours: Evening Prayer for the Friday after Ash Wednesday.