Our spiritual life, which is a matter of growing in holiness, in our identification with Christ who is the pattern of our humanity, is obviously a work of God, first of all. It requires grace that enables us to share in the supernatural and divine life of God that is meant for us since we are God’s image and likeness, children of his.
But it’s also our responsibility, precisely because as God’s image and likeness, we have to learn how to cooperate with God’s work of continuing creation and redemption in our earthly sojourn. In fact, for this we have to give our all, as can be adduced from what Christ said as the greatest commandment of God for us.
In a sense, it’s like a 100 percent-100 percent proposition for us. Everything depends on God, and at the same time, everything also depends on us, channeling God’s love for us in our love for him and for others.
That’s why Christ said that “as the Father loves me, so do I love you,” (Jn 15,9) and “as the Father sent me, so do I send you.” (Jn 20,21) We have to treat ourselves the way God through Christ in the Holy Spirit treats himself. We ought to have the same love, the same desire, the same mission.
It is for this reason that, insofar as things depend on us, we need to have some benchmarks to see if we are doing things right insofar as attaining the ultimate goal of our life is concerned.
We have to see to it that our understanding of the purpose of our life here on earth conforms to this basic truth of our faith. Are we in constant awareness of the presence and interventions of God in our life? Are we able and quick to properly correspond to such divine interventions?
What practices of piety can we use to carry out these duties and responsibilities? Do we have an effective plan, program or strategy to keep us on track as we go through the different circumstances and situations of our life?
Obviously, there is a need to learn to pray, to really talk with God. There is a need to relate everything to God, especially our work and all the events of our life, making them a material and an occasion to glorify God as we should.
We have to develop a life of penance and sacrifice, of self-denial and mortification, considering that our usual tendency, due to our wounded condition, is to fall into self-indulgence instead of giving ourselves to God and others.
We have to avail of a certain plan of continuing formation so that we would always be reminded that we have to grow in our relationship with God. There has to be some kind of sensation that as we go along with our life, we are becoming more and more like Christ as we should.
Definitely, we also need to avail of the sacraments, especially Confession and the Holy Eucharist, since they are a supernatural means that help us attain and maintain our supernatural relation with God.
In all of these, we have to realize that we need to develop the virtues that will liken us more and more with Christ. We have to learn how to be humble, strong, compassionate, prudent, etc., so that in the end our life of faith, hope and charity is always vibrant.*