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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

Who Is the Patron Saint of Holy Moments?

Jack Beers:

So the book makes a pivot. And the first part of the book, which we've been talking about is holy moments as it impacts me as an individual and its relationship to what my future looks like and the impact that I have on the world. But the book makes a shift to what holy moments can do in our culture and in our society. And you refer to the good Samaritan as the patron saint of holy moments. And I wanted to let you unpack that for us a little bit, why the good Samaritan and why did you really with that story of the good Samaritan, make a turn in the book and start pointing to the impact that holy moments can have in the world?

Matthew Kelly:

Yeah, so obviously the patron saint language is the use of language. It is the use of language to get people's attention. It is the use of language to recognize the role that the good Samaritan has played in our society. And not just from a faith perspective, but even from a secular perspective. You've got hospitals in almost every city and the planet named good Samaritan hospital. You have all sorts of organizations named after the good Samaritan. And any time anyone goes out of their way to do something for someone in need, especially a stranger, even the most secular news channels will report that as the act of a good Samaritan.

And so the good Samaritan is one of the most famous anonymous people in history. And obviously it's the story Jesus told. Now, where did the story come from? Did he make it up? Was it something he knew had happened? All of that obviously is conjecture, but I think biblical imagination is important. And what happened to the good Samaritan after, and what happened to the guy whose life is saved and how did he go on to live the rest of his life? And how did this moment affect the life of the good Samaritan? I think we leave these stories and we don't wonder enough about what happened to these people and where did they go and what did they do afterwards.

So I thought that good Samaritan was just the perfect example of a holy moment. There are other people who walked past the man on the street and they had their reasons. And they had many reasons, they had complex reasons tied to their spiritual beliefs, but the good Samaritan stopped and he created a holy moment. He collaborated with God to create a holy moment. And if you think about the impact of that holy moment on the world, that's why the good Samaritan is almost universally known.

I do transfer or shift, as you say, in the book then to impact holy moments can have on a world, because I think it's important that people see the connection that they realize that they are participating in something much, much, much greater than themselves for them to realize, okay, yes, holy moments changes me, it changes the person that are direct the holy moment towards, it changes the people who witness the holy moment or hear about the holy moment. But it's also important to recognize that if you multiply that out enough, you do change your marriage, change your family, change a workplace, change a community, a city, a village, a nation, and ultimately the world. But the world will only improve if we improve as human beings. And holy moments cause us to improve as human beings and help others to improve as human beings.

There's no better world without helping human beings become better human beings. That's one of the great lies of progress in our culture. It's like, oh, we can have better lives and we can have a better world by being worse people. No, I'm sorry that just isn't going to happen. And in our culture, we've shifted away from, even things like character development or character education. We moved away from that, which would've been outside the realms of faith education. It would've been in any secular environment 20 years ago. We would've said, okay, well, we're not going to bring religion into this environment, but we understand the value of character and virtue. And we are going to provide education around that so that the people in this environment can become better human beings.

One of the great tragedies, I think of what is happening in our culture is we've abandoned the idea of better human beings that we can become better human beings, that we should strive to become better human beings. And again, we're back to looking for worldly solutions to our profoundly spiritual problems.

Matthew Kelly

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