Sinners Anonymous: 12 steps to holiness



To believe or not to believe, that is the question!

Generally speaking, to believe means *”to accept something as true, genuine, or real.” In every respect this is accurately defined. I would not consider asking myself, for example, if the person standing in front of me exists; I might chuckle at the absurd question and quickly conclude that he does because I can see him with my own eyes. Or would I ask if the bird chirping in the distance is genuine? I’d say “It must be, because I can hear its beautiful melody.” There is no debating these facts. Creation in its entirety can be fully grasped, believed, and understood if I simply apply my senses and reason.

I can just as easily appreciate all that is good, beautiful, and true in life. For example it makes sense that if a flower has blossomed in the month of May, it would most likely be considered beautiful. Or if someone lends a helping hand, it would be considered good. How about being told that breathing is an essential component of life, that would be considered true. But how many would willingly venture out of their comfort zone and seek to know the transcendental reality of Beauty, Goodness, and Truth.

I can easily grasp that a flower is beautiful, that a kind person is good, even that breath sustains life. But what does it matter to know this. Suddenly reason is brought to a halt. All that we know intellectually reaches a pause and we are left with a piece of an unfinished puzzle. Silence to the unknown settles in and the light of truth within us dims.

It is at this moment, after all is still within, after all our faculties are at ease, that Jesus finds His long awaited chance to gently knock at the door of our heart with these words: “I am the light of the world; he that followeth me, walketh not in darkness but shall have the light of life.” (John 20:29) We return to the purpose of living! Our mission, as mentioned in an earlier post, is the glory of God and salvation of souls.

So, why is the flower beautiful? Because it reflects the glory of the Creator. Why is a person kind? Because, the heart is naturally drawn to do the good, we were created in the image of God after all. Why do we breath in order to live? Because life, if lived in Christ, is the only vehicle afforded us, on this earthly journey, to reach the fulfillment of eternal existence. Once faith begins to aid our reason, all other truths which surpass our understanding can be embraced.

Instead of posing the question “To believe or not to believe?” we should be asking ourselves: To merely believe or to truly believe? “To be pleasing and acceptable in the sight of God, it  is not enough merely to believe all that our holy faith teaches us; we must, moreover, regulate our life in accordance with our belief. Pico of Mirandola says:  ‘It is certainly great folly not to wish to believe the Gospel of Christ; but it would be greater folly still to believe it and to live as if you did not believe it.'” ( St. Alphonsus Liguori, 13) The 12 Steps To Holiness And Salvation


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