For nearly three months now, I’ve been making conscious efforts in cultivating my holiness. And admittedly, I do feel a little holier, though I know there will always be much work to do until our heavenly Father calls me home. I am far from perfect, but in my relentless pursuit of heavenly perfection, I am a lot closer to it than I’ve ever been before. With that said, I noticed that my improvement can be attributed to my invariable solitude these days. It’s easy to follow your virtues and adhere to your values in a controlled environment. So, I started paying special attention to myself and my inclinations when I am intermittently with others. As I expected, in social atmospheres, I sense my underlying inclination to go with the flow, which could mean compromising my character that I’ve been working so hard to build for the past few months. The other day, I almost agreed to someone’s flawed notion of marriage (in my opinion anyway), but my attentiveness to ensure I’d preserved my values and beliefs enabled me to catch myself and voice my true opinion, even if it meant being inconvenient or unpopular. Times like this makes me want to stay in solitude, to “protect” my “holiness project” (if you will), but as always, sense would chime in as it boldly stated – where would the merit be in that? Cultivating holiness only to keep it to yourself is a stalemate. The truly faithful and virtuous ones are those who remain steadfast in their values amid the persecutors, the naysayers and apathetic. A true disciple of Christ relentlessly exercises their virtues despite howling winds that threaten to break them; one truly exemplary of Christianity stands firm in mighty currents. Those who’ve become saints did not voluntarily lock themselves up so they can remain holy. They went out as the Christian life, after all, is a life of service.
So, now is the time to practice. Solitude will indubitably assist in crystallizing values and virtues, but it is not truly exercised until one exhibits it among his peers…and his enemies.
There’s a Japanese proverb that reads:
虎穴に入らずんば虎子を得ず。 (Koketsu ni irazunba koji wo ezu), or literally: If you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub; which really means: nothing ventured, nothing gained. Thus, I need to learn how to be a rock in a ferocious and obdurate river for this is how holiness is truly gained.
Doing the 1st reading at the biblical town of Bethany (2014, Holy Land)
Virtues to enhance: fortitude