There was a young novice monk who came to the master of novices and
asked: "Master what must I do to attain God?"
The master replied: "To attain God, you must do two things."
The novice thinks "Two things? I can do two things! This will
"First," says the master, "you must know that nothing you can do or think
or say will ever help you to attain God."
"And the second?" asks the novice - rather heartbroken and scared.
The master replies: "You must live as if you don't know the
Union with God is not our work. It is the work of the Holy Spirit. We can't put ourselves right with God nor can we make God love us more or less. But, and this is a rather large "but," we must be willing participants in our own sanctification. We must work hard at surrendering to God and we must practice self examination and denial and ask God to help us see ourselves honestly. The Christian life is easy because it is lived by God's grace. It is hard because we don't always want God's grace - we are too afraid that it will change us too much.