O God, So rule and govern our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that, ever mindful of Your final judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with You in perfect joy hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
“Why did you tell him that he forgot to lock the cabinet?” My childish voice asked.
“Because he needs to be careful with his things.” The adult replied.
“But you could have taken anything you wanted, and he would not have known.”
“Yes, but then I would be a thief. I don’t want to be a thief.”
That conversation happened many years ago and as I pray this prayer about being stirred up to holiness of life, I am reminded of it. We pray that the governance of the Holy Spirit would stir us up to holiness of life. I think we often imagine holy people are some heroic characters we read about in magazines, books, or even in devotions. They might be inspirational and holy, but I think true holiness is not normally found in the big decisions we make in some moment of great crisis, but in the little, daily decisions we make every day. We can put the best construction on our neighbor’s deeds. We can help him or her to improve and defend property. We can encourage a couple’s marriage and delight in another’s success.
Our world seems to go through paroxysms of violence and human suffering. Often in those moments life-defining moral choices lie before us. The rest of the time, the mundane time, is no less important. These are the times of the regular deeds, the daily things, the simple acts of kindness, generosity, and care. When we look back upon these days the presence or the absence of these simple acts of kindnesses and attitudes will be the mark of this time. Pray this prayer and think about how the Spirit of God stirs you to holiness of life. Then do that.