he faced life’s
just like the
rest of us.
Holiness is for everybody
If God is content that an individual is trying his or her best (for the
moment) to fulfill God’s hopes, that person qualifies as a saint.
He HiGH sCHooL senioRs
i teach would cringe at be-
ing called holy. The very word
secretes poisons like “uninteresting,”
“sexless,” “goody-goody,” “
unsophisticated”—hardly the path to popularity.
nor does the idea appeal much to older
people either. They feel unworthy of a
term justified only by a
TBY FATHER WILLIAM J.
Father William J. O’Malley,
S.J. is a teacher of English
and religious studies at Ford-ham Preparatory School in the
Bronx, N. Y.
visible halo. our ideas of holiness are so
stringent that even aspiring to it seems
Jesus faced that, too: “ ‘What is this
wisdom that has been given him? isn’t
this the carpenter’s son?’ ” (Matthew
13: 55). even slight contact with the
less-than-sacred sullies any suggestion
of sanctity: “This man welcomes sinners
and eats with them!” (Luke 15: 3). But
here is the key: Jesus loves imperfect
people. on that score, all of us qualify.
We can, therefore, consider holiness
without the distancing, antiseptic “
requirements” that make the subject, and