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Model for Holiness

Prior to Vatican ll, holiness was viewed as being a goal only for religious and priests. Since Cursillo was founded prior to Vatican ll, it was only proper that the founders should use the term “piety” for holiness, laypersons being only able to aspire to piety. However, the Spirit was alive in the Church, and Vatican ll proclaimed that holiness was for everyone. So, Cursillo exchanged the term of piety for holiness, but in fact holiness for Cursillo has remained piety since we dwell on external practices, rather than on interior dispositions or virtues.

The good news is that the Spirit is alive in Cursillo. Thanks to the Internet, a proposal for a Cursillo Holiness Model was endorsed by a Cursillo founder on April 1, 2000. These past months, we have been reflecting on this Model of seven Cursillo virtues one at a time.  It should be noted that the founders gave us a living model of holiness, a living experience of holiness which we experienced on our Weekends. It was from this experience that the seven Cursillo virtues were deduced. Now let us ask ourselves: What does this Holiness Model give us and what do we do with it?

First, living the Cursillo Holiness Model will deepen our relationship with each Person of the Trinity. Take the virtue of God-centeredness. As we seek to break out of the prison of self-centeredness and live lives of God-centeredness, we will make God the center of our lives, seeing ourselves, others, life and creation through the eyes of God. God will become our Vision for our entire life. We will become visionaries.

Living the Cursillo Holiness Model will deepen our relationship with the Spirit. As we practice the virtue of dependency on the Spirit, we will look to the Spirit more and more in moments of confusion or when we strive to cooperate with the Spirit’s inspirations. As we strive to grow in courage, we will look to the Spirit to give us the right words to say in our evangelization. Even our resolution to exert discipline in our spiritual lives will be performed, knowing that we are powerless to grow unless we have the power of a Higher Power, the Holy Spirit, to advance in the spiritual life.

Living the Cursillo Holiness Model will deepen our relationship with Christ. Each time we encounter our Christian community, such as at Ultreya and Group Reunion, we will realize that Christ is truly present in this body of believers and that we must grow in the virtue of openness to Spirit-empowerment through Christian community. Further, we will grow in faith that our Palanca prayer and sacrifice will be effective prayer since it is linked to concrete action within the Christian community, where Christ is vitally present. Lastly, as we progressively grow in our capacity to live lives of compassion and communion for others, we will enter more deeply into the life and mission of Christ.

Second, the Cursillo Holiness Model will give direction to our spiritual lives. Depending on our personalities, some Cursillo virtues will be more difficult to acquire than others. The Model reminds us that to live Cursillo spirituality, to live the fully human life, and to become effective evangelizers, we must acquire all seven virtues.

Third, the Cursillo Holiness Model gives us an effective tool to measure our progress in holiness. Asking ourselves in Group Reunion the question: “What spiritual aids have helped me in my spiritual growth?” puts our quest for holiness at the level of practices. The Pharisees would have had a field day with that question. They kept the Sabbath. They gave tithes. And on and on. More appropriately, we can now ask ourselves: “Have I grown in one of the seven Cursillo virtues?”  In effect, this question asks whether we have grown in our relationship to God, to Christ and to the Spirit through our pursuit of the Cursillo virtues. The Cursillo Holiness Model is truly a model for holiness!