I listened to a homily today by a Latin Mass priest in Warrington, England and he read a striking quote from Saint John Henry Newman; by the end of the quote my eyes widened and I was determined to share the profound contents.
The fallen human race uses the excuse and overused phrase “I am only human” far too often, but Our Heavenly Father demands us to strive for perfection. The Son of God commands it when He says to be “perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”. This should not be something we shrug off simply because we are “fallen” and born with original sin. We are made in the image and likeness of God, therefore we should aim to imitate the Father in every way possible. We have three glorious Role Models to follow: The Son of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the good Saint Joseph; the Holy Family.
Newman also says,
It is the saying of holy men that, if we wish to be perfect, we have nothing more to do than to perform the ordinary duties of the day well.
Anybody can attain perfection by doing their ordinary duties well. The priest, the religious, the husband and wife, and the simple- even a child! Anybody.
This is the saint’s practical and attainable method of achieving perfection on earth:
If you ask me what you are to do in order to be perfect, I say, first-
- Do not lie in bed beyond the due time of rising.
- Give your first thoughts to God.
- Make a good visit to the Blessed Sacrament.
- Say the Angelus devoutly.
- Eat and drink to God’s glory.
- Say the Rosary well.
- Be recollected; keep out bad thoughts.
- Make your evening meditation well.
- Examine yourself daily.
- Go to bed in good time, and you are already perfect.