I think it’s safe to say that the subject of holiness doesn’t come up much in our daily conversations. Too abstract and impractical for the problems of today’s world, some might say.
Here’s another perspective: Holiness is well worth thinking about.
Maybe you hold in your heart even one memory of a peace that encircled you during a tough time. Somehow it outshined the problem, and you felt confident you’d find an answer.
This is what I call a “holy moment.” These moments happen more naturally as we come to understand, through prayer, more of the constancy and universal availability of God’s powerful, loving presence. Then the way opens for solutions.
God gave to Moses this message to share with the Israelites he was leading out of captivity: “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2, New King James Version). This promise defines for all time the divine nature of God, which includes within its infinitude pure goodness and nothing else. It points to the true spiritual heritage of all of us as the holy and dearly loved children of our loving Parent.
One definition of the word “holy” is set apart for a sacred purpose. Prayer that helps us see our pure unity with God – our holiness – empowers us to fulfill our God-given purpose: to glorify God by expressing qualities such as goodness and serenity.
A small incident that highlighted our ability to feel this serenity in a stressful circumstance occurred at a time when my husband and I were traveling by plane for a fairly tight schedule of work engagements.
We had left for the airport by taxi in plenty of time, but soon the traffic was hardly moving. If we missed the flight, it would mean not only more expense but also a disruption of planned events, which were intended to be of service to others.
As we have consistently done in our lives when obstacles arise, we began to pray. In the Bible, the prophet Isaiah speaks of the desert that will blossom with flowers, and the barren land that will be filled with springs of water. As “The Voice” translation states: “The road to this happy renovation will be clearly signed. People will declare the way itself to be holy – the route, ‘sacred.’... There’ll be no lions lying in wait, no predators or dangers in sight” (see Isaiah 35).
I have consistently looked to Jesus as the highest example of the holy manifestation of God’s love. The Christ, the understanding of divine Truth through which Jesus renewed and healed, enables us to experience God’s care today, too.
So in prayer, I mentally affirmed that God is all good and the only legitimate cause of existence. Although it sure seemed otherwise right then, all of us caught in this gridlock were, in spiritual reality, moving in harmony with the love of God and therefore with each other. How freeing it was to know this was the actual truth right then about the spiritual identity of everyone, everywhere.
Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, studied the deep and inspired meaning of the Bible. Speaking directly to what it means for our consciousness to be holy, she wrote in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “To discern the rhythm of Spirit and to be holy, thought must be purely spiritual” (p. 510).
I saw that because this inspiration was coming to me from God, Spirit itself, nothing could oppose or obstruct the divine power behind it. I was able to confidently dismiss feelings of anxiety, pressure, and limitation as having no source in God, good. This brought holy moments – moments of trust and calm – in the midst of the blocked traffic.
Finally, about 10 minutes before the flight was to take off, we arrived at the airline counter. There we learned that the traffic situation had affected the whole city, and the considerate decision had been made to delay the flight. We were able to board and fulfill our commitments for the trip. How grateful I was for this, but what has especially stayed with me is the uninterrupted joy of feeling tangibly that God, Love, gently cares for all.
Not all my moments and days feel holy. But I know it is possible to have more that do. Because divine Love is never absent – even for a moment – each of us has the capacity to experience Love’s holy blessings.