I spoke on the topic of holiness and afterward one parishioner spoke about how we probably needed “A good whipping…” and I thought to myself “Did I miss the point?”
Holiness is not about a whipping but rather about leaving something lesser behind in the pursuit of something better. Holiness is the natural state of the human person and sin is the distortion of who we were meant to be. When we are holy we are most alive and perhaps many of the things we often identify as pleasures in this life ar actually cheaper substitutes for the exhilaration of holiness.
For the most part I struggle with holiness. Yet there have been moments when I’ve drawn close to God and those moments are beautiful beyond description. Even when they are fleeting they are better than everything that came before and worth every effort.
It’s not God who wants to whip you. Satan torments out of the depths of his emptiness. He is the hole that seeks to satisfy his perpetual darkness with other’s pain. God wants you to be what you were meant to be, a being in union with Him, and radiant.
Somehow we’ve gotten it all twisted around and believe that holiness is the chore and sin is the fuller expression of who we are. Holiness is beautiful, light, numinous. graceful, and alive. It’s the sin within us. within me, that scourges me, that inflicts wounds on my soul.
Human beings, because we’ve been ill of soul for so long and live in a world that is co-dependant with this pathology, think that the struggle to be holy is difficult and hard when, in fact, it is the very dynamic of our healing, our re-creation, and our salvation. We’ve been sick so long that recovery seems abnormal to us. We’ve been in the dark so long that our eyes burn if we encounter the light and so rather than taking the time to let them adjust we slink back into the night.
Yet there is nothing like holiness, the purity of heart and the realization that we were designed for God and that when we are with Him and in Him and his life is ours, even for a moment, that eternity is joined to time and the presence of the Holy One fills our time. Compared to this everything the world offers is small.