Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Holy or Holey?

“The Conversion of St. Augustine” by Fra Angelico
Merriam-Webster defines holy, as “set apart for the service of God or of a divine being: sacred.” On the other hand, holey is defined simply as “having holes.” The words are what is known as homonyms to the extent that they sound alike but have radically different meanings. But there is one school of thought that hones to the idea "if it quacks like a duck it’s a duck." A tear which is a break doesn’t sound like a tear which is the fluid that drips out of the eye when someone is crying. However, soul and sole sound alike and as everyone knows have much in common to the extent that the sole of the foot or shoe is what one employs in the course of the kind of  journey that nurtures the soul. The fact that holy and holey sound so much alike begs the question of their similarity since the holy man or woman is one who has a hole in the sole of his shoe to the extent that he or she in all likelihood has taken a vow of poverty. The holy man or woman may also have a hole in their soul which eventually turns them into a person who is more enlightened. This was true of great sinners like Augustine. "Religion is for those who're afraid of going to hell, spiritualism for those who have already been there,” goes the old saw. There are lots of righteous people who follow the tenets of religion, but the truly spiritual person is one whose holes, frailties or failings have caused him to undertake a journey or reckoning or to make a confession in which he or she's forced to reach out for help from God.

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