Removing Sin from Our Lives
The third rung of our spiral involves purifying our lives. In the Book of Matthew, Jesus spoke to them at length in parables saying, “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirty-fold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”1
First, the hard path, the rocky soil, and the weeds are symbols that tell us to avoid occasions of sin – environments where we may be tempted and likely to fail. To accomplish this we need to know ourselves, to know our weaknesses, and rely on an active discernment in all we do.
Second, the parable tells us to root out all obstacles and distractions to our holiness. To grow in conversion requires a fierce opposition to sin. Again, discernment is key. We may ask ourselves, “Is what is before me of God?” St. John of the Cross tells us, “To become saints we must have total conformity of our will with God's … As long as the soul clings to the least thing contrary to God's Will … we act, not under the impulse of God's Love, but through a desire for personal satisfaction.”.2
And third, the parable tells us to make every aspect of our life fertile ground for the the Love of God, the Word of God, and the infusion of the Holy Spirit. Continually, throughout our lives, we will face temptations and times when we may go astray. The parable tells us that our lives are like a garden that requires constant vigilance and care. And where this care is present, we will be abundantly blessed, and filled with sanctifying grace.
In such souls there is a supernatural Presence of God. The Divine Persons are said to 'indwell' in such a soul. Thus, being open to continual conversion can impel us to a unity with God we may have thought was unimaginable. It all lies in the strength of our love, fulfilling our purpose, and the intensity of our motivation.