Holiness-Becoming Fully Human

You really have to think outside the box when you reflect on holiness. Institutional religion has put holiness in a box marked: “For the exceptional spiritual athlete.” The truth is that we must all seek holiness, or better “wholeness,” to live fully human lives.

The concept of holiness may embarrass us, leave us lukewarm or fire us up. It all depends on our perception of holiness. A positive perception converts us to become seekers of holiness. An ambivalent perception produces half-hearted quests. What is our perception of holiness? Is it really positive?

Like a diamond, holiness is many-faceted. No one description will define holiness. Each description will catch one facet of holiness. However, reflecting on a number of definitions will give us a deep insight into this very rich concept.

Holiness is process, not a state of perfection. It is our process of striving to live the fully human life. It is our process of stretching ourselves to embrace Christ and all wounded humanity.  It is our process of fulfilling our own heart wishes to love and to be loved, to share our life experiences with others and to grow as persons.

Holiness is logic. We might reason: A basic flaw exists in our human nature that alienates us from ourselves, God, others and creation. If we want to live a fully human life, we must admit our powerlessness, realize that there is a Higher Power Who can help us overcome our human condition, and decide to turn our lives over to the Spirit’s empowerment. Perfectly logical!

Holiness is wholeness. One way to look at the basic flaw in our human nature is that we all have holes in our psychic lives. Holiness can be looked upon as striving for our own unique wholeness. We are all wounded. We all need healing. Paradoxically, striving for holiness is the process of becoming more fully human. Holiness is the pursuit of the meaning of life and the fullness of life.

Holiness is commitment. Once we discover the presence and empowerment of Christ’s Spirit in our lives, commitment takes place. We conclude that such a Higher Power is worth knowing better, worth being very close to. We commit to living the interior life, a personal relationship with Christ’s Spirit.

However, human effort is necessary. It demonstrates that we have the right intentions and prepares us to receive the Spirit’s empowerment. We have to exert human effort while we are mindful of our powerlessness—a tricky balancing act.

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