Say Yes to Holiness Newsletter #22

For your inspiration and encouragement on the journey towards holiness…

Say Yes to Holiness Newsletter #22

Greetings, my Fellow Pilgrims on the Way!

Food for the Head

“This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections.” -St. Augustine

How well do you know yourself? Are you REALLY open to an assessment of your ideas and actions, especially those that pertain to your spiritual practices? Do you seek out the advice of a spiritual mentor or director, or a close friend(s) in order to discover your imperfections? 

This week, make a commitment to seek out spiritual counsel and/or make an assessment of your spiritual habits. (Click here to download my free assessment)

Food for the Heart

“God loves everyone with unique love; He wants to lead them all to perfection, but at the same time has very different paths for different people. This means that the frequency and characteristics of the inspirations of grace will differ from one person to another. We cannot force the Spirit, God is the master of His gifts. That said, it cannot be doubted that God will grant each person at least the inspirations he needs for his own sanctification.” — Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 26, In the School of the Holy Spirit
Do you believe that God loves you with a unique love? Do you believe that He desires your sanctification? Does your prayer life reflect this belief? Are you faithful to your prayer time with our Lord? Do you persevere in spending time in quiet meditation with Him each day–even if/when you do not feel His presence? Do you doubt that God will grant you the inspirations you need for your sanctification?
This week, to increase your faith in God’s desire to make you a saint, conclude each prayer time by saying, “O Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything!” 
Food for the Hands

“The Lord measures our perfection not by the number and greatness of the works we do for Him, but by our manner of doing them. And this manner is only the love of God with which, and for which, we do them. They are more perfect as they are done with more pure and perfect love, and as they are less mingled with the thoughts of pleasure or praise in this life or the other (St. John of the Cross).’ 

Each day this week, try to complete at least one action in a manner that does not seek your own pleasure or the praise of another, but is done out of love.

Food for the Feet

“To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.” -Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman

Are you open or resistant to change? Do you embrace doing things differently, or do you prefer to do things the way they have “always been done”? 

This week, spend time in quiet conversation with God and allow Him to show you how any “changes” in your life are simply a part of life and part of God’s plan to help you become perfect like He is perfect. In other words, to help become a saint. 

Did You Know?
“And so, in the redemptive economy of grace, brought about through the action of the Holy Spirit, there is a unique correspondence between the moment of the Incarnation of the Word and the moment of the birth of the Church. The person who links these two moments is Mary: Mary at Nazareth and Mary in the Upper Room at Jerusalem. In both cases her discreet yet essential presence indicates the path of ‘birth from the Holy Spirit’. Thus she who is present in the mystery of Christ as Mother becomes—by the will of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit—present in the mystery of the Church. In the Church too she continues to be a maternal presence, as is shown by the words spoken from the Cross: ‘Woman, behold your son!’; ‘Behold your mother.'” — Pope St. John Paul II, p. 94, Mary: God’s Yes to Man


During the month of August, we celebrated two greats feasts–the Assumption of Mary and the Queenship of Mary. These are the mysteries which we are invited to contemplate when praying the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, traditionally prayed on Wednesdays and Sundays (unless the liturgical season dictates otherwise). 

Both of these feasts highlight in different ways the role of Mary’s continued spiritual motherhood to us, her children–the spiritual brothers and sisters of her beloved son, Jesus. Jesus has entrusted His Mother to us, and each one of us has been entrusted to her maternal care by Jesus.This is one of the most precious gifts that Jesus has given us for aiding us in our spiritual journey as we strive for holiness.


There are many, but will share two: 1) Mary has given us the preeminent model of discipleship that we should try to emulate in our lives as she was Jesus’ first and most perfect disciple; and 2) Mary continues to guide, encourage, support and intercede for us on the journey–even to this very day. 

Mary has been appearing to peoples across the world throughout the centuries–Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes, and Our Lady of Fatima are some of the most well-known–and each time Mary appears, she shares a message to assist us, her spiritual children, in drawing closer to her son, Jesus. 

Mary has asked us to do 4 things: 

1) Consecrate ourselves to her

2) Live out this consecration primarily by praying the rosary daily

3) Offer sacrifice in reparation for sin and the conversion of others by taking up our personal cross (whatever we do not like, did not choose and can not change)

4) To bring others to Mary so she can help lead them to Jesus 

So if you are not already availing yourself of the assistance of Jesus’ great gift to us, I urge you to do so. Make your consecration. Pray the rosary each day. Offer sacrifice. Allow Mary to help you bring others to Jesus. 

Do whatever it takes to help people encounter Jesus. Because then you can tell the Master of Death, NOT TODAY.

God bless each one of you, and I look forward to seeing you on the Way soon!

All the best,




PS–If you are interested in making your Marian Consecration, but are uncertain where to begin, check out Fr Michael Gaitley’s book, 33 Days to Morning Glory or the Rosary Army webpage with the Consecration prayers in audio form, or feel free to reach out to me at christinasemmens@gmail.com

If you are looking for an excellent meditative rosary, you can sign up here for one led by Dr Michael Scherschligt at the Holy Family School of Faith

PPS-If you are finding this newsletter to be of help to you, PLEASE share it with a friend! (Nothing better than helping a friend make a small change to help them grow in holiness!), and if this has been shared with you and you want to sign up to receive it directly to your own inbox, just go to the www.sayyestoholiness.comwebsite, or click on the Newsletter signup link here