There is something painfully wrong when we encounter foolishness in the old, or a lack of generosity in the wealthy. And there is something equally disturbing when we consider that many lives end without having the faintest traces of sanctity. Like one thousand oysters that did not produce a pearl, the child will be sad having opened any one of them, because the child knows as we all know, that a pearl might well have been found in any one of them.
A human life is like that. Each and every person has what is necessary to become what we would call a saint, and yet, decisions and decisions alone get in the way of the most natural thing in the world. We know this because holiness is not dependent on a certain set of conditions that might exclude one part of the population or another. It is rather, the completion of what is felt deeply within, the response to a call that is difficult to explain but present nonetheless.
It reminds me of the Biblical story of Naomi who, while in a far off country, loses her husband and two grown up sons to death. Of the two daughters in law that remain one decides to leave Naomi while the other named Ruth, decides to stay. Now who can really claim what the more prudent decision would have been? An argument can surely be made for both. But what we do know is that families should stick together especially when life gets difficult.
And so we return to some basic truths. Like an oyster that should produce pearls, or the family that no longer finds reasons to remain in each other’s company, so is the life that does not smell of holiness. Something is missing, and we know it.
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