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Another Perspective

Connecting to the Holy

Life is Holy.

I have felt the presence of the Holy many times throughout my life. This is probably one of the main reasons I became a priest, though at the time of my ordination I didn’t know it. What follows are some of the ways the Holy has used to touch my life.

Creativity has been my primary portal into the ineffable. I felt it when I visited several of the great cathedrals in Europe. I have felt it listening to Beethoven, Mendelsohn, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, among others. I have felt it experiencing Broadway plays, reading poems, and when viewing sculpture and paintings. I experience it on occasion when I write.

I had a heightened sense of the presence of the Holy when each of my three daughters emerged from their mother in the delivery room. I felt it as my mother breathed her last, ending years of disabling health problems. I felt it when my dying sister gave me a life-changing gift. I felt it when a man came to see my wife for therapy. During his second or third meeting he channeled a message for me from my deceased daughter. Then he left therapy.

Nature has provided me with several touches of the Holy. I felt the Holy watching my first snowfall when I was alone in my freshman dorm room. I experience it in the change of seasons; dolphins riding the surf; a whale racing my kayak in the Sea of Cortez; watching white owls fly around the bell tower at St. Luke’s, Monrovia. I have felt its presence in countless sunrises and sunsets, and when seeing the stars in all their glory while camping hundreds of miles from any lights.

There have been moments at work too. Being with a man in his 30s dying of Cystic Fibrosis walking a spiritual path directly into heaven. An HIV hospice doctor speaking of how he helped men die with peace and dignity during a time when they were social outcasts. I felt it when a client faced their issue, made changes and was better for it. I felt it singing hymns in a large, crowded room where the pipe organ was able to operate at its full capacity. I felt it living into the rhythms of the church year, celebrating and receiving the Eucharist, baptizing and especially officiating at funerals. I experience it in prayer.

I feel the Holy in unexpected joy, in a baby or woman’s smile. I feel it in hope: when out of darkness arise new possibilities. I feel it in friendships, caring, kindness, tenderness, gentleness and sacrifice. I find the Holy in trust, forgiveness and acceptance. I feel it when I am full of enthusiasm. I find it in beauty.

Most of all, I experience the Holy in love.

How does the Holy connect with you?
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