Ten Steps to Holiness – Introduction

Fr. Joel The Loving Life 4 Comments

You: Be Holy!

That’s literally what the Second Vatican Council said when it spoke about the “Universal Call to Holiness.” All people, not just priest and nuns, are called to be holy. That means that in a very real and true way, you are called to be holy. Ever felt like your life lacked purpose and direction? Ever wondered if it was really all worth it? This is because you were made to be holy. When we don’t make this goal a priority, life begins to feel empty and pointless.

Holiness is being like God

The word “Holiness” conjures up images of holier-than-thou folks with sour faces or frozen smiles. This is not holiness. Think of God for a moment – perfectly happy, full of joy, at peace with Himself, and generously giving Himself in Love through the Trinity. You were made in the image and likeness of God. That means that you were meant to live an existence of peace, joy, and love. Holiness is precisely this kind of existence. It looks like Mother Theresa picking up a dirty, abandoned child. It looks like Don Bosco juggling to attract children. It looks like Pier Giorgio Frassati climbing a mountain with a pipe in his mouth. It looks like Pope Benedict kissing a baby. It looks like you, being all that you can be. This is what God has made you to be, and this is what God’s grace can make you, if you will let him.

Holiness is Closer than you Think

When we admit that we are called to be holy, and that holiness really wouldn’t hurt, and that it really would make us much better people than we are now, we have a problem: We aren’t holy now, and holiness seems a long way off. Not true. I stumbled on a fantastic little book recently by Msgr. Steven Rossetti called Our Journey into Joy: Ten Steps to Priestly Holiness. It gives a fantastic outline of the steps required in order to become holy. Taking a cue from Archbishop Dolan, I have adapted this list to the life of ordinary people. It will give you a road map to the journey of holiness. I’m not talking here about just the mundane, “I’m always nice to people” kind of holiness, I’m talking about the Satan-kicking, walk-on-water, raise-the-dead kind of holiness. This is about becoming all you can be through a personal and powerful relationship with God. In subsequent posts I will elaborate on each of the ten steps. Enjoy the journey.

  1. Cease any Serious Sin
  2. Renew the Habit of Reconciliation
  3. Pray More
  4. Dive Deeply into the Eucharist
  5. Nourish Good Christian Friendships
  6. Love the Church
  7. Practice Gratitude
  8. Embrace your Crosses
  9. Relax and Trust
  10. Abandon yourself to God

Comments 4

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    When we admit that we are called to be holy, and that holiness really wouldn’t hurt, and that it really would make us much better people than we are now,…

    Holiness wouldn’t hurt??!!

    What about St Larwence? What about pick up your cross (instrument of torture and death)?

    It appears to me that there needs to be enough faith that Jesus can/does deliver on his promisses before one lets go and accepts the pain and suffering of becomming holy. I always thought there was a meaning to the order of the spiritual virtues Faith – Hope – then Love.

    I look forward to seeing the 10 steps.
    Thanks Fr Joel,


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    Fr. Joel;

    I too found this small booklet, ” Our Journey into Joy; Ten Steps to Priestly Holiness” and have shared it with several priests. When I was reading the book, I found myself thinking that these steps could be applied to all of us. So, I will be looking forward to you elaborating on each of the steps.

    I did feel the same way when I read Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s book, “Priests of the Third Millennium” which was written for semiarians and priests. As I read that book, I kept thinking that lay people could grow in holiness following many of the ideas in the book. Then, not long after, he wrote the book, ‘Called to be Holy” for lay people, based on that book for seminarians and priests.

    It says to me that even though we all have different vocations, we are all called to be holy, and many of the ways to do that are the same for all of us.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to share these Ten Steps with us. I will be ready to enjoy the journey!

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    Another good book by Msgr.Stephen Rossetti is ‘ Born of the Eucharist: A Spirituality for Priests.” Have you heard of this? It is filled with much to think and pray about!

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