Yes, holiness is really this simple: just 10 steps. It isn’t very complicated at all. The first 7 steps set up the entire process. When we Cease any Serious Sin and Renew the Habit of Reconciliation, we remove obstacles to holiness. When we begin to Pray More and Dive Deeply into the Eucharist, we grow in friendship with God. As we Nourish Good Christian Friendships, Love the Church, and Practice Gratitude, we create a climate for ourselves and others that encourages holiness. These set the stage. The real work is in the last 3 steps. Embracing our Crosses lets God be the center of our lives and sees everything as good. Relaxing and Trusting takes that a step further. Abandoning ourselves to God finishes the job.
But here is the secret ingredient.
The key to becoming holy is this: Holiness is not your work, it is God’s work in you.
Your job is not to make yourself holy. Your job is to say “Yes” to God making you holy. Isn’t that a relief? Many well-meaning Catholics act as though if we only did the right prayers and practiced the right devotions, we would earn holiness. The problem is, the more they strive for holiness, the more their weak efforts begin to seem puny. They start to think that their own efforts will never make them holy. That’s right; nothing we do can ever make us holy. Only God can make us holy.
Remember what we said at the beginning: Holiness is being like God. We can invite, encourage, strive for and deepen a friendship with God, but we can never earn it. God must be the one to make us like Himself.
Follow the 10 steps. Put your friendship with God first in your life. Get rid of anything that keeps you from your friend. Begin to live every moment for love of God. He will do the rest. Just say Yes every day and every moment. And enjoy the wild ride.