“You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
We Need to be Living Saints
Many of us teenagers after encountering Jesus say: “I really want to grow in holiness. I don’t want to sin and hurt Jesus anymore. I want to avoid everything impure.” or something similar. That desire for holiness that the Holy Spirit has put in us is a great start! We need to be living saints who sanctify the world and who can boldly say “No” to its impure and unholy ways. I have to admit though it isn’t easy, but it is possible.
Satan Targets Teenagers
Growing in holiness can be challenging today because impurity is plastered everywhere. We see it in movies, music, on the TV, fashion, billboards, books, magazines, entertainment and even in people. Living in an impure world can be very challenging for a Christian. This is where many teens begin to weaken in their spiritual growth because Satan targets us through the media and entertainment, and we can easily fall into his trap. But remember the Word of God says, “The one in you is greater than the one who is in the world!” (1 John 4:4). Who is the “one in us”? He is the all-powerful and all-knowing God who does not allow his children to become the devil’s punch bag. If we truly desire to become holy and pure, then no-one or nothing can stop us, for we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:12). Saints and martyrs are beautiful examples of those who lived in the world but grew in purity and holiness. Our dearest holy Mother and Jesus himself lived in this world and showed us that we can be pure, and by his grace we can show a glimpse of heaven to others, through the example of our lives.
Say No to Unholy Situations
Psalm 119:9 asks “How can young people keep their ways pure?” and it gives the answer “by guarding it according to your word.” Remember the young man Joseph in the Old Testament. He must have had a deep thirst in his heart to please our loving God, by keeping himself holy and pure. That is why when Potiphar’s wife came to tempt him he ran away from the situation saying ‘No’. We too should be able to say ‘No’ to unholy situations, conversations, videos, and music that can damage our growing holiness.
The Power of Prayer
St. Josemaria Escriva said, “Never talk of impure things or events. It’s a subject that sticks more than tar. Change the conversation.” The saint goes on to say “I have never talked about impurity, but I have spoken many times, as I have to do, about chastity, purity, and the joyful affirmation of love.” The Holy Spirit gives us the anointing and grace like Joseph to say ‘No’ when we are being tempted to fall into sin.
Another powerful weapon to grow in purity is prayer. We can cry out to the Holy Spirit to make us holy, and to become pure. God desires that each one of us should be holy, “Be holy, as I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). Blessed Mother Teresa said that “purity is the fruit of prayer.” When you go to school, college, trips to town, or use the internet or anything else then do take your saints with you. Ask your guardian angel to cover your eyes and ears from impure things. Claim the Word of God to overcome temptations that come your way. As you begin your day, spend time calling on your favourite saints and martyrs and ask for their help. But don’t just pray for yourselves but also for those teens you know, who may be struggling.
The Sacraments Help Us
Another powerful way to grow in holiness is through the Sacraments. That’s why the church offers them. The Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) is a beautiful Sacrament that offers us freedom and the grace to be free from the clutches of sin. St John of the Cross said, “Strive always to confess your sins with a deep knowledge of your own wretchedness and with clarity and purity.” The truth is that we are bound to mess up a few times in our spiritual journey. We may fall again and again, but God’s mercy will pick us up again to start afresh. We may go back to our old habits but the blood of Jesus will cleanse us from all our sins.
Christ is Enough
St. Josemaria Escriva said, “To defend his purity, St. Francis of Assisi rolled in the snow; St. Benedict threw himself into a thorn bush; St. Bernard plunged into an icy pond. You – what have you done?” God may not be asking this from us, but we can crucify our flesh so that God’s power can penetrate and work in us. Let us learn to crush our worldly desires and remember that Christ is enough for us. Learn to Say ‘No’ to sin and become a prayer warrior. And if you fall: remember GGCGet up, Go, Confess!
Written by Sheril John