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Holy, Holy, Holy

When I take a break from my regular job and my schoolwork, I have been reading up on the saga of the Holy Grail. While that's interesting, what struck me about it was how different we are today from Medeival times. In some ways that is good, but not in all things. No more quests, no belief in the numinous, no confidence in Chivalry or Honor, no sense of the Holy. You may smile to hear that people took comfort in the physical presence of relics, that they believed such things were signals of the will and pleasure of God, that people considered Man's place below God's will and that we pursue the holy not as a duty or a choice but because it changes us in ways that no other force could, but the man who lives without such beliefs is the poorer for that choice. The reality and presence of the holy is of an order of Reality beyond our comprehension, and is the essence of both fear and hope.

Non-Christians frequently charge that if Christianity were all it claims, there should be clear evidence of a different way of life among Christians. They're right, it's the fruit of our faith that we should live in love and hope, not acting as we did when our souls were dead in sin. Yet it must also be remembered that we still live in the carnal world, that our journey to the Kingdom of Heaven is through the wasteland of human hubris, and we are not truly home until we are perfected through Christ's holiness. And so it is true not merely that we are granted visions of holiness as beacons to guide us in our lives, but also as spiritual sustenance; just as we partake of Communion in remembrance of Christ, so God sends us images of the holy to remind us of our identity and sustain our soul in spiritual communication.

I fear sometimes that we lose sight of the holy. As the Church finds more and more enemies, it has a harder time pointing out the holy to those who seek it, and as the world focuses more on more with personal pleasures and immediate gratification, the things of the next world are far too easily missed. We see the surface effect, not the cause, and we discard greatness because it is inconvenient. We see suffering as something to avoid, and miss the character of bearing hardship. We do no penance, because we assume we are in no need of rebuilding in our soul. We trust our own clever wit, and forget the deeper wisdom of our Maker. We call the Humane the highest ideal, and so pass by the road which leads to something greater than the human condition.

We should remember to seek that which is holy, and to be humble in our place.


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Comments (6)

Beautifully put, DJ. Thank ... (Below threshold)

Beautifully put, DJ. Thank you.

This world is for Man, but so is the next world. If we spare no attention for the next world, how can we hope to be granted its bounties?

Every Christian church, including my own (Catholic), has exceeded its authority. Even so, they're bastions of wisdom, to be appreciated for their dedication to their mission and the priceless Deposit of Faith they conserve. The great trick is to see past the excrescences and make proper use of the truth they embed at their core.

We should be grateful. How many of us are?

"As the Church finds more a... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

"As the Church finds more and more enemies, it has a harder time pointing out the holy to those who seek it."

The interesting thing, DJ, is that in America and Europe, the Church (not a denominational thing, but the full body of true Christian believers of all stripes) has only faced largely rhetorical enemies for centuries. In oter lands, were Christians do not enjoy the freedoms we have, but are persecuted almost as a matter of course, the Christian faith is thriving. Why? Because they are focused on the holy and the eternal. They put no hope in this world, but look forward to a better one.

I don't mean to imply that I want persecution here in America, but I will say that throughout history it has usually taken persecution to cleanse the faith of those things that God would see removed.

We are fighting spiritual battles with weapons of the world. Until we (as a Christian faith) start trusting solely in God for what we have and are, we will continue to struggle. God may use world events to change our situation, but I'm afraid it may take something drastic to draw us back to Him, unless He can break us of our pride and self-sufficiency before that.

Great post.

Nothing else to say, as you... (Below threshold)

Nothing else to say, as you said it so well!

"I fear sometimes that we l... (Below threshold)

"I fear sometimes that we lose sight of the holy"

I fear, all of the time, that most "Christians" in this country like to spew rhetoric out of their mouths and vote for the big business loving, oil company forgiving, Iraq war supporting, Republican party.

I, an athiest, have commited myself to giving 25% of my net income to charity, including faith-based charites, because, although misguided, they do have a bigger pull in helping people throughout the world. I have done so for the past 6 years, even though I only make a meager (by our standards) 28,000 bucks a year. What do YOU do for humanity? How are YOU like Jesus Christ? Why don't you ask yourselves these questions?

"faith-based charites, beca... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

"faith-based charites, because, although misguided, they do have a bigger pull in helping people throughout the world"

"What do YOU do for humanity?"

Irony, thy name is Ryan.

What do YOU do for... (Below threshold)
What do YOU do for humanity? How are YOU like Jesus Christ? Why don't you ask yourselves these questions?

Consider Matthew 6: 1-4,

1"Beware of(A) practicing your righteousness before other people in order(B) to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

2(C) "Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may(D) be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have(E) received their reward. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret.(F) And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.






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