The strongest drive in the average Christian in Manila is the drive to achieve. One must achieve more in order to earn more and spend more. The mark of the achiever is often his capacity to follow the dictates of our consumeristic society. A person is considered better when he or she can buy this or that toothpaste, shampoo or body lotion.

But Father Pedro Casaldaliga says that the evil of consumerism is that it consumes the consumer. Unfortunately, our consumerist attitude has spilt over into our spiritual lives. For example, we feel holier when we go to Mass more frequently, spend more hours at the adoration chapel, serve in the free clinic for the poor or give sizeable amounts of money to the poor from our pockets. We think we are better as a result of pious deeds such as rosaries, Masses, communions and spiritual exercises. Is this not correct?

St. John says we do not become holy because of our good deeds but because of God’s favor to us. We become holy because God is good to us first.

The Lord is not telling us that our Masses, rosaries and hours at the adoration chapel are worthless. They are valuable. But keep in mind that without God’s grace and blessing, they would all be worthless. We become worthy and holy only because of God’s favor to us.

Let us change our attitudes. What we do is important. But more important is the will of God. The most important is that we allow God to work through us, in us and with us. Holiness is not what you do. Holiness is what God does through you.

1 Jn 3:1
Jesus In My Heart

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