Last year, Pep Guardiola (who is a Spanish professional football manager and currently manager of Premier League club Manchester City) showing a soccer ball to his soccer players said to them: “Some guys don’t want this: to play with the ball. They don’t want this. We will win at Anfield, because we will want this (the ball)… They are good, you know that. They are very good. This is the challenge… They will run a lot, because you will play with this! With this! (the ball) I hate when you don’t want this (the ball). I hate it! We train every day for this. You have permission to make a mistake. You have permission to lose. You have permission for everything. You have permission because you accept, and you want the ball.”
Sometimes I imagine God saying the same thing to us in regards to holiness. I hate when you do not want holiness. You train (life is a training for heaven) every day for holiness. You have permission to make mistakes, you have permission to do something wrong, if through it you were looking for holiness; if you accepted “this game;” if you want holiness.
That is to say, we can err because we are human, and God knows that. But we cannot stop looking for holiness, we cannot stop trying our best to go to heaven. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta says: “God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful.” She recognized that many times in her life she failed, or she may have failed; but she also recognized that the main purpose in life is to be faithful which means fighting for holiness rather than not making mistakes.
We are human and that means that we cannot do everything correctly. The person who says I do everything well, I do not make mistakes, is a person who is not trying his best to be holy. Rather he is trying to justify his actions and accommodating or adjusting holiness to his actions rather than trying to adjust his actions with the standards of holiness. St. John says: If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us (1 Jn 1:8-10).
What I am trying to say is that our main concern should be holiness (as the main concern for a soccer player should be the ball) and if we make a mistake trying to do a holy action, God will accept that, God gave us permission. However, if we make a mistake trying to do our will or to fulfill our selfish desires it means that we do not want holiness, that we are not pursuing holiness and this is what God does not want, that is what God will not accept.