Holy moments abound


By Sarah Callahan
Gray Space Graces


We can find many examples in the Gospel of the holiness of the everyday, the ordinary. Jesus’ apostles were fishermen and tax collectors. The first witness to the resurrection was Mary Magdalene, an everyday woman in 1st century Jerusalem. Jesus, in his parables, used ordinary symbols constantly — seeds, bread, vines, sheep, tenants, the list goes on.

My husband and I joined a Lenten Reflection Group at St. Anthony Parish in Davenport this year. The group focused our reflection and discussion on the text, “Holy Moments,” by Matthew Kelly. The book begins with Kelly relating the story of a monastery where tensions had grown between the monks due to impatience, jealousy and lack of joy among them. The abbot of the monastery sought counsel on how to resolve this conflict and tension. The advice the abbot received was to tell the monks “the Messiah is among you.” He relayed the message to the brothers and noticed a gradual change among them. They began to treat each other with greater kindness and respect. They began to show compassion and forgiveness. A spirit of cooperation sprung up among them.

When we begin to see the Jesus in others, holy moments abound. We can see, like in the Gospel examples and the story of the monastery, that holiness can be found in the smallest, most ordinary moments, people and experiences. Holy moments teach us to find God in all things. This is an exercise that is difficult but becomes easier with time and practice.


This Lenten group has challenged me to notice God’s grace in my interactions at work, with my friends, on the street, in my home. It has challenged me to recognize the “Messiah in my midst.” As I’ve begun to look out for holy moments in my life, I have noticed that I am more aware, observant and patient in various situations. In each person we encounter we can ask ourselves, what is at least one thing about this person that is Christlike? When we begin to spot God’s image in others, it will become easier to find. We have the opportunity to create holy moments in our day-to-day lives; that is what we are called to as Christians.

As we move into the Easter season, there are many sacramental sights, sounds and smells that remind us of God’s presence. Last week, we witnessed the washing of feet on Holy Thursday, the veneration of the cross on Good Friday, the silence on Holy Saturday. The incense, the fire, the oils, the hymns are all signs to remind us that Jesus is with us.

Yet, there are similar signs in the world around us, outside of the four walls of the Church. How might we carry this sacramental attitude into our lives there? As we rejoice in the Easter season, let’s take note of Christ’s presence with us in the sound of the squeaky door hinges as we walk into our places of work next week and in the warm sunshine on our faces with the arrival of spring and in the feeling of our own bodies, that God has given us, moving about our days. Let us each carry the joy of resurrection in all the ways in which we live and move and have our being — in the Easter season and always.

(Sarah Callahan is social media coordinator for the Diocese of Davenport.)

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