“At 16, you have that moment, and then at 19 you start talking about the universal call to holiness, and then somewhere around there, I don't know that the age, you saw the response of people to the universal call to holiness, and how it wasn't resonating and eyes are glazing over, and you move to the best version of yourself. Eyes start lighting up and you start communicating this journey of becoming a better version of yourself every day, as a part of this call to talk to people about the universal call to holiness, and all of the fruit that's been born from that, I mean, you can't go anywhere now without hearing someone saying something that refers to becoming a better version of yourself. Then now after 30 years of ministry and thinking about it, you have a definition for this holy moment. It feels like a full culmination in that way to me. Does it feel like that to you?
“Yeah, it's interesting because that's a really profound insight, I think, into how things have unfolded over the past 30 years.
But I thought, huh, universal call to holiness, that's a simple concept. Everyone is called to holiness. Holiness is becoming all God created you to be. That felt simple and complete to me 30 years ago, as a 15 year old. It was life changing. I go out on the road at 19 and I realize, okay, people don't get it. Now, they don't get it because they didn't get to sit down with a spiritual mentor and have coffee and play basketball and ask stupid questions, and resist God and have someone patiently watch you resist God and continue to encourage you and inspire you and educate you. They didn't have that, so that's okay.
But the evolution of that into, and not even evolution, but the presentation of that as God has a dream for you, he wants you to become the best version of yourself, I think was the holy spirit at work, was inspiration. But then I would've thought that was complete. I would've thought that was simple enough. I would've thought, okay, that makes sense. People get that. And certainly they have, but I think the piece or this piece, is it the last piece? I don't know. Is the how. Is the real how. I think people say, oh, okay, become better version of myself. If I exercise, I become a better version of myself. If I eat foods that really fuel and nourish me, I become a better version of myself. If I take care of myself by sleeping, I become a better version of myself. There's lots of ways I can relate with people in my life. Relationships help me become a better version of myself. If learn new things, if I read great books, I feed my mind, I become a better version of myself. Then spiritually, silence, solitude, scripture, sacraments. They help me become the best version of myself.
We know all of these things. We've talked about all of these things over the past 30 years. I've written about all of these things. But the real DNA of how we approach these things is holy moments, because if we go a little further into the definition, a holy moment is a single moment in which you open yourself to God. You open yourself to God. It reads simple, but that's a cosmic shift in the spiritual life of a person.
It's not a one time thing for you or me. I did it when I was 15, probably for the first time with great intentionality in my life, but I have to do it every day and I have to do it many, many times a day. There are moments in the day when I do exactly the opposite. I close myself to God. Now, I don't say to myself, all right, I'm going to close myself to God now and do this or say this, or be this. But my actions are actions that close myself to God. It's that, it is simple, but as you get into it... I mean, we could talk for an hour on each collection of words here, each phrase, each concept.”
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