There is No Substitute for Holiness in a Good Society

Secular society attempts to better itself by changing laws and culture. But it has no sure guide to determine what is truly good. And no matter what wording is used in the laws, or what values the culture promotes, unless the people are holy, loving God and neighbor, the society will not be good.

The Church is a society. For the Church to be good, to be effective in saving souls, to be successful in evangelizing the world, the members and leaders of the Church must be holy. There is no substitute for holiness in the Church. The Church needs just church laws, knowledgeable teachers, good decisions on discipline, and many other elements. But holiness is absolutely necessary, and often ignored, in discussions about what the Church needs, or how the Church should (or should not) change.

If the Mass is held with perfect liturgical form (if such perfection exists on earth), but the priest and people are not holy, God is greatly offended:
{15:7} Hypocrites! How well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
{15:8} ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
{15:9} For in vain do they worship me, teaching the doctrines and commandments of men.’ ”

If Canon law is rewritten, so as to become the perfect set of church laws, but the people are not holy, God is greatly offended. It is hypocrisy to seek perfection in discipline or law or theology, without also seeking to be perfect “as your heavenly Father is perfect” in our lives and souls.

The path to holiness:
* Confession at least once a month
* learn and follow the moral teachings of the Church
* pray several times a day
* include the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet
* take care that your life includes no objective mortal sins at all, nor any attachment to sin
* remove from your life anything that leads to grave sin
* self-denial in all things
* love your neighbor by finding works of spiritual and temporal mercy to do on a continuing basis

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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