Unless you’re a hermit…

You live and breathe and walk among people every day.  It’s unavoidable… unless you’re a hermit that is.

There are a lot of good and not-so-good people in the world.  There are some down-right bad people in the world.  They are fairly easy to identify.

But what about the holy ones?  How do we spot them?

Martha and Mary

So today we prayed the scripture passage of Martha and Mary.  Fr. Edwin shared some stories… {btw he’s extremely funny!} … and then posed the question:

How do you know if someone is really holy?

In the moment I could think of a few critieria… wise / humble / prayerful… and some other good adjectives.  From that Gospel, I get the impression that Mary might be holier than Martha… mostly because Martha comes across as a whiner.

Fr. Edwin gave a quick response:  The true mark of holiness is joy.

Pretty profound.

Don't think too hard or your head might explode.

The true mark of holiness is joy.

And I thought… Yea… that’s a good one.  I feel holy when I am full of joy.

Then just as quickly… so does that mean when I don’t feel joy that I’m not holy?

What about when others around me are cranky and difficult… does that mean they’re not holy either?

Being the made-of-mud-and-spit / chaotic / messy / imperfect person that I am, I cannot go the distance and pretend to classify or judge anyone’s holiness based on any criteria whatever it might be.

But I can learn to recognize moments of holiness… in myself and in others around me.  And joy is a good mark that catches my attention and clues me into God’s presence in my midst.

Mobius Strip

Holiness and joy are like a Mobius strip.  No end and no beginning.  Infinite and always double-sided.  Like tape.

So how do you recognize a holy person?  Look for the Mobius strip… holiness and joy.

And suddenly, I want to be holy because I want to be a person of joy… and I want to be a person of joy because then I might be more holy.

Cool.

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About Elaine Menardi

Heading off on a new adventure! I solve problems and make ideas happen.

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