Heb 12:10, “Strive for peace with all men, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”
I could go into all the bible verses that speak of the need to stay out of mortal sins like fornication, adultery, lust, masturbation, drunkenness, persistent anger, and etc. But I will just leave that up to you to find that on your own. Christ says we must live holy or else we will not go to heaven. What a sobering thought, so I want to live very holy.
I have been speaking to a spiritual director for a long time, he is an Abbot of a great holy monastery and he happens to be a spiritual giant and scholar. I really have learned many great things from him. But the best thing I ever learned was this, just wanted to share this.
He said the only loosers in this life are those who don’t live holy and fall into sin.
He told me that the way you overcome any sin is by growing closer to God through prayer. The closer you grow to God the more you love him, and then sin just kind of disappears from your life. This I can definitely attest to from my experience, prayer is huge in growing closer to God and thereby love and thereby holiness.
So if holiness is by means of prayer, as St. Alphonsus Liguori says in his great book “Great Means to Salvation and Perfection.” St. Alphonsus says in that book that all sin can be overcome through constant prayer, who perseveres to the end in prayer is he who is saved, the saint says. This was a huge realization for me, so I really wanted to pray a lot.
I heard Father Ripperger (who is not my spiritual director) say that holiness comes through constant prayer, regular reception of the sacraments, and regular penances like fasting.
My spiritual director said that the most powerful prayers are in this order, most powerful to the least powerful. So you should at least do one of these every day, he told me to pick one.
- The Holy Mass
- The Divine Office
- The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- The Rosary (5 decades three times daily, so whole rosary)
Also my spiritual director recommended me to practice Lectio Divino, daily Bible or Catechism reading for at least thirty minutes. Prayerfully reading the scriptures, has been very powerful for me to get to know Christ more. The Catechism is also invaluable to help me understand the teachings of the Bible better and the Oral Tradition of the Apostles and teachings of the Magisterium. Anyways, l love daily time for Lectio Divino.
I will now briefly explain why the four I listed above are powerful means to grow in holiness.
The Holy Mass is the liturgical prayer of the Church that puts us at Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary, and we get to eat literally his flesh (body, blood, soul, and divinity) in the Eucharist, which is a sacrament. Jesus comes physically and spiritually into us at communion. The Eucharist connects us to Calvary, and is the most powerful thing we can do by far on any day.
The Divine Office is also liturgical prayer, and is like an extension of the prayer of the mass. The Divine Office goes back to the first century, and it even was similar to the way the Jews before Christ prayed and even is how Jesus Christ himself would have daily prayed, and obviously the Apostles and Early Church Father’s and early martyrs would have prayed the psalms at different times of the time of the day, everyday, (which is the Divine Office), it is obviously a very powerful prayer to praise God with. Like people say on this forum, it is the official prayer of the Church. The Divine Office being liturgical prayer connects us to the extension of the prayer of the mass, and is the sacrifice of praise that the Bible speaks about. The New Testament says we should pray the psalms throughout the day, this is the best prayer besides the Mass. You can buy the Breviary book for the Divine Office or just go to a free version online or paid version online to pray this daily.
The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary is also liturgical prayer that is a shorter version of the Divine Office. It is a very powerful prayer of praise to God that packs tons of Marian devotion. Baronius Press offers a great one in hardback, or it can be accessed by divinumofficium.com and just click on “parvum BVM.”
The Rosary is private devotional prayer, but used to be substituted for those who don’t pray the Divine Office.
Please look at post below to see the rest of my comments… I couldn’t fit it all.