To the editor:
First, you are inaccurate in your claim, “. . . I am more than halfway through it, and he (Kelly) has still not explicitly defined exactly what a ‘Holy Moment’ is.”
You must have missed it. Please check page 35 of the book (the beginning of chapter 7). On that page you will find the definition of a “Holy Moment.” Kelly writes:
“A Holy Moment is a moment when you open yourself to God. You make yourself available to him. You set aside what you feel like doing in that moment, and you set aside self-interest, and for one moment you simply do what you prayerfully believe God is calling you to do in that moment. That is a Holy Moment.”
Kelly goes on to describe a Holy Moment in another way on page 36:
“A Holy Moment is a moment when you are being the person God created you to be, and you are doing what you believe God is calling you to do in that moment. It is an instance where you set aside self-interest, personal desire, and what you feel like doing or would rather be doing, and embrace what you believe will bring the most good to the most people in that moment.”
Pages 45-50 (chapter 8) provide seven real-life stories of Holy Moments occurring within the lives of real people. After these seven stories, Kelly lists 19 examples of small and anonymous Holy Moments, ranging from controlling your temper to something as simple as recycling.
I think that you, after re-reading those pages, will agree that your initial assessment that “Kelly seems to believe a Holy Moment is simply doing good things for people and society” is incorrect. A Holy Moment starts with an openness to God’s will and a willingness to be his instrument.
Second, you seem to believe doing good in this world is a bad thing. Am I reading your comments correctly?
From your article:
“According to Jesus, doing good things for people and society are attractive because they are corrupt from the inside and therefore selfish.”
“Doing good things for people is never a guarantee that you will change the world.”
“Sometimes doing good things for people will only result in ridicule, punishment and enabling those you serve to be more sinister.”
“If the essence of the Christian faith is ‘Holy Moments,’ then the world is doomed.”
If this is the case, then how can one explain Matthew 5:16?
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Or Hebrews 13:16?
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
Or Galatians 6:9-10?
“And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Or especially, Matthew 25:31-46?
“ . . . the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ . . .”
In summary, I think you have missed the point that Matthew Kelly is trying to make.
The lie is this: “Holiness is not possible.”
The truth is: “Holiness is possible when we share God’s truth, goodness, and beauty, with everyone who crosses our path, one Holy Moment at a time.”