One priest may wish to lead a good, holy life, as he knows he should. He may wish to be chaste and to reflect heavenly virtues in the way he lives. Yet he does not resolve to use suitable means, such as penance, prayer, the avoidance of evil discussions and harmful and dangerous friendships. Another priest complains that as soon as he comes into church to pray the office or to celebrate Mass, a thousand thoughts fill his mind and distract him from God. But what was he doing in the sacristy before he came out for the office or for Mass? How did he prepare? What means did he use to collect his thoughts and to remain recollected?A spiritual life is incompatible with our tendency to compartmentalize. I can't live a spiritual life some of the time, only during the times I have piously decided to call 'prayer.' I will never learn to use well my distractions in prayer if I live distractedly the rest of the time. As Pope St. John XXIII put it, "My day must be one long prayer."
I may wish to be holy but if wishing doesn't turn into a practical willingness in the little things, then my wish is probably vainglory. What I mean is that as long as I only wish to be holy I risk admiring the holy self I imagine I want to become, and this instead of paying attention to the people and circumstances God has put in front of me on a particular day, and the graces that I'm invited to accept through them. It is surrendering to these graces that will make me holy, not just wishing to be so.