Holy Spirit Interactive
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Inside Holy Spirit Interactive

Holy Spirit Interactive: Dominic Dixon: Living for the Audience of One: Foreward

Foreward

Flawed. If there is one word that aptly describes the human race and human nature, this is it. Those of us who are given to introspection of even the remotest seriousness will attest to the truth of that statement, discovering as we do the numerous abrasions and inclusions in our psyches. Even those among us who shine with the brilliance of diamonds are like some of the stones: perfect to look at unless examined closely. Yet, perfection is what we are called to. “Be perfect,” Jesus said, “as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). The question is: How does one attain perfection?

A good way to begin is by believing that it is, indeed, possible to attain it. After all, we were created in the very image and likeness of God, who is perfection personified. If we aren’t perfect today it is because the world has shaped us into what we have become; we need to be reshaped into what we were created to be. There are some who will insist that it isn’t possible to be like that anymore. It may very well not be possible for us to achieve perfection on our own strength; but what is impossible by human endeavour is certainly possible by the grace of God (cf Luke 18:27).

A fine way to proceed is by drawing encouragement from men and women in the world who were severely flawed, but went on to lead exemplary lives. King David is one such person who immediately comes to mind. Anointed of God and admired by his people, he had a weakness for women that led to adultery and, eventually, to murder. Yet, once he was convicted of the errors of his ways, he radically changed himself and went on to lead a life that was immensely pleasing to God.

Yet another famous Biblical figure is St. Mary Magdalene. Possessed by seven demons who, presumably, made her do a whole lot of unholy things until they were cast out by Jesus, Mary of Magdala went on to become one of the most devoted disciples of Christ. Other people closer to our own age also provide inspiration and hope. St Francis of Assisi was a street brawler and a part time soldier until his capture during a conflict between Assisi and Perugia, where he had a conversion of heart. When he was released he began to take his faith seriously, ending up as one of the most beloved saints of all time.

St Augustine was another severely delinquent person. Though raised as a good Catholic he fell away from the faith and lived a debauched, hedonistic life, wayward to the extreme, until a series of experiences triggered off drastic changes in his life. Today he is yet another bright star in the Christian firmament. All these men and women provide inspiration and hope—and instruction. While the wise among us undoubtedly learn from their own mistakes, the wiser among us learn from the mistakes of others, and there is much to be learned from these people. By reading about the stories of their journey—very often painful— from sinner to saint, we can obtain valuable lessons for our own journey towards the same goal.

This book that you hold in your hand contains many such lessons. Dr. Dominic Dixon still has a long way to go to becoming a perfect saint, but he has made remarkable progress on his journey there thus far. It hasn’t been an easy journey—it never is—but his courage and resilience in the face of difficulties is inspirational, and the insights that he has discovered along the way are profound. He shares many of these experiences and insights in this book, which is a wonderful combination of personal testimony, Scriptural reference and human psychology. It will be a useful guide, not only for those eager to grow spiritually, but also to those who want to pursue the call in public ministry.

And we would do well to continually remind ourselves, as we read it, that we should always play to an exclusive Audience, The Audience of One, who is the Holy One who calls us to perfection.

May the Spirit be with you!

Aneel Aranha

Who am I that You are Mindful of Me?