Friday, December 29, 2006

What Is Holiness?

I am all settled into my new work home on the 9th floor of my building. I have a cozy little area that is quiet and solitary even though other people are around me. The morning sun is a little intense but at least I have some connection with the outdoors. I think I will like it here so I will enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

Yesterday I was sitting in my car waiting for my wife to come out of her office. My cell phone rang and it was her. "Where are you"? I said, "I'm right here in front of your office. I can't believe you don't see me"! She said that she didn't see me anywhere. It was then that I realized I was parked on the wrong block. I was in front of the wrong building. These senior moments are increasing at an alarming rate.

I also picked up my granddaughter at the daycare. As we were walking out I said, "Look at the sky, Chloe. Isn't the sunset beautiful? She pointed to it and said, "Orange!" Then we looked in another direction and saw the moon. "Goodbye, moon!" she said as we headed for the car.

2006 is nearly over. When we return to work it will be a new year. Starting a new year and moving to a new place is an excellent time to renew ourselves, have fresh beginnings and new attitudes, and start with clean slates. Forget all the failures of last year. They're in the past. As 2007 begins, become a new person. Be the person you always wanted to be. Let go of your baggage and start a new journey. Learn to travel lightly. Focus on what's really important in life. Below are the highlights of an article I read on holiness. Holiness may not be the personal goal of everyone. However, the traits listed below could also be applied to just being a good person. Who doesn't want to be a good person? I often wonder about the jerks of the world. Do people really choose to be a jerk? I think not. Somewhere in that person is a hurting soul. Choose to be a good person. If you also turn out holy, all the better! What are the traits of a holy person? According to Fr. Ron Knott, a local priest, the following would be evident in a holy person. It doesn't matter what religion you are or what tradition you follow, or even if you go to church.

People who are holy are first of all people who put their relationships with God and people above everything else in life. They have their priorities straight.

People who are holy are not so jaded and self centered that they no longer have the ability to feel compassion for those who suffer. Holy people are the opposite of cold and heartless people.

People who are holy know their strengths and weaknesses. They neither inflate their worth nor devalue it. Holy people have an unpretentious, down to earth goodness about them.

People who are holy want to get to know God more, want to become better people and are passionate about trying to do what God asks of them. Knowing God and serving God are the central passions of holy people.

People who are holy give other people a break, the benefit of the doubt, a good hearing, rather than rush to judgment. They withhold judgment and extend mercy, knowing they cannot see into other people's hearts.

People who are holy do the right thing and also do it for the right reason. What you see is what you get. Who they appear to be and who they really are match up perfectly.

People who are holy go out and look for opportunities to heal, to reunite, to bring together and to put an end to strife and misunderstanding. They cannot rest until unity and harmony are restored.

People who are holy are persecuted. Evil cannot bear the presence of goodness. No good deed, or good person for that matter, goes unpunished.

People who are holy are not afraid of being known as a friend of God. They do not shove their religion into other's faces but neither do they hide it.

This kind of person stands in stark contrast to the money grubbing, cold hearted, self inflated, quick to judge, self centered, opportunistic materialist that they world encourages us to be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"People who are holy are persecuted. Evil cannot bear the presence of goodness. No good deed, or good person for that matter, goes unpunished."

Very nice post. I enjoyed it a great deal...and I wanted to share some experiences that I've had with regard to being persecuted.

It is my experience that the force of like minded; that is, holy people, is formidable. In the face of communal unconditional regard for the one(s) who would likely persecute any individual or group become so uncomfortable in the power of that communal strength that the simply find another, easier target.

It seems to be true that people who are aggressive and intend hard, prefer not to work that hard to gain their advantage and their pay off; that is the misery of someone they intend to victimize. They wander off looking for easier pickings.

While this isn't always true, it is usually true. In the face of the divisive influence of anyone, my community generally takes a look at behavior and measures that before they give in to influence.

We have yet to have any one person do harm to our group as a result.

The source of that strength is this knowledge...and our reliance on personal responsibility for the health of our family...

And that is the secret in a nutshell. We love each other. We see each other as sister, brothers, uncles, aunts. We will not lightly give that up for someone who just wants to do harm.