S03 E12 – Book Study Part 1 – Holiness is the Work of the Holy Spirit


00:00 – 00:28 = Intro Snippet
00:30 – 00:55 = Podcast intro
00:56 – 03:08 = Greeting with Padre
03:09 – 05:38 = Book Study
05:39 – 10:26 = Book start Pages Develop People Holy
10:27 – 29:04 = God is Captive
29:05 = Closing

Book study Part 1 of ‘In the School of the Holy Spirit’ by Jacques Philippe.

Prayer at the start of the book: ‘Beg the holy spirit to put the desire in you to love God as much as he possibly can be loved, and even beg him to leave you restless until you have that aspiration’ (p10) 

‘It’s just as important to help devout people become holier, as it is to help sinners be converted’ – So much truth to that. We can become so complacent in our faith, and if we aren’t always looking for ways to grow in relationship with Christ, then we’ll begin to backtrack and watch the relationship become weakened. In that same vein, we also need to help and support each other on that path too. It’s not enough to say ‘I believe’ we have to actually love God and love God well, and that takes a community.

Holiness is not the work of human beings and here’s why:

  1. The task is beyond our power – holiness is not a fruit of our effort, but a fruit of God’s grace. We can look at this in two ways, something Chris Stefanik used to say in the face of fear of making a vocational decision, that we might make the ‘wrong’ choice, he would say ‘You’re not that big of a deal’. Now, in this context we can hear it in two ways, ‘woe is me, because i’m powerless, i have no agency to act, nothing i do makes any difference, life just happens to me’ OR ‘we can breathe a sigh of relief, that so long as we aim to do well, to love God, then everything else is in His hands, we’re NOT responsible for the fruits that may come in future, we’re only to take command of what is given to us in the here and now. 

a) Powerful choice of words from St John of the Cross ‘Happy is the soul who loves because that soul holds God captive’ – wow… holds God captive. Imagine that. The one whose more powerful than anything we could ever imagine, the creator of all that was, is, and is to come, He can be held captive by us, ONLY by our love AND that should delight our souls. Bold language! This is the path to holiness. 

b) ‘Holiness is not a program for life, it’s something to be obtained from God… who lets himself be won over by the trust we place in him

  1. Only God knows each person’s road – We often mistake holiness for one thing. When we describe someone as holy we will generally concoct images of ‘super prayerful’, reverent, maybe gentle and softly spoken or wise and patience, and all of these are beautiful fruits of virtues BUT they are not boxes that are ticked in a person, it’s a spectrum of variance. Just as many people as God has created, that many ways and witnesses does God have for holiness. Expecting a certain ‘type’ of holiness in our selves and in another is not only inaccurate, it’s not even helpful. It puts limits on what God can do in our lives. 

It’s important to know which virtue we should give priority to , not according to our own ideas, but according to what God wants of us because that’s what will be most effective – not according to our own program but according to God’s will. 

Faithfulness in little things – when we’re docile to the Holy Spirit in the little things that prompt us by the Holy Spirit – we can draw graces from that to help us in other areas of our lives. So these are the prompts that say ‘get up on time, say your morning prayer, say good morning to the person on the bus’ the little things that won’t gain your recognition or applause but if we’ve been prompted to follow through, then following through on the little things is the way to holiness.

  • Faithfulness draws strength – but also consolation of peace and joy
  • When we are docile and act on the promptings of the Holy Spirit, God enlarges our hearts for more, we can have Joy at this new capacity for love more, because God is gifting us abundance by first stretching us which only God can. This gives us new joy
  • The greater happiness comes not from receiving but from giving. But in order to give, we must first receive the prompts from the Holy Spirit, and act on them. 


Stina – New mentor

Padre Integrity Restored podcast

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