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Holy, Holy, Holy

"Holy, Holy, Holy"

© 2011

Joyce A. Kovelman, Ph.D., Ph.D.


According to the Oxford Universal Dictionary, "Holy" means, "inviolate, a divine quality, the will of God, sanctified, sacred, sinless, devoted and spiritually pure." And yet, humanity uses this word to describe heinous acts of violence, desecration and war? We arrogantly proclaim our homeland as holy, and that we are holy people. We justify our ways of violence and terrorism and project our "Holy War" upon those who hold beliefs different than our own. I fear that unless humanity matures and evolves more appropriate solutions and ways to deal with our rage, guilt, fear, inadequacies, greed, lust, impotence, shame and pain, we will never know the end of War.


At the start of a New Year and a New Millennium, I find myself increasingly concerned about the escalation of war and violence in our world. Everyday we read about another war, and each day more countries and communities succumb to violent ways and confrontations to solve their differences and to meet their most basic needs. Daily, the level of anger and rage grow, and with it a sense of helplessness and powerlessness, leading many of the desperate and disenfranchised to lash out at what they perceive to be an unjust, uncaring and unfair world. They attain a dignity and nobility in dying for a cause, any cause, rather than facing a meaningless life. When all else fails, and desperation and frustration peak, the less fortunate invoke the power of God and explosively take matters into their own hands. They willingly sin and kill in order to attain their deadly goals.


But Humankind can no longer take God's name in Vain, nor use "God" as an excuse to make war or to commit crimes and atrocities against humanity or other forms of existence. Humankind is faced with the unprecedented peril and danger of collapsing the fragile biosphere necessary to life upon our planet. We are asked to mature and evolve new solutions and ways of confronting our differences and attaining our needs. We can no longer contaminate, desecrate, plunder or destroy.

I also ask you to consider whether war has ever solved anything. Is it really possible to consider any war "Holy?" Indeed, the 6th of God's 10 Commandments clearly tells us: "Thou shalt not murder! No exceptions are given nor permitted. Murder is forbidden Period. Thus, to murder any other, is to sin before God. Yet, "Holy War" calls upon the God of one people to annihilate and kill the God of another people. How dare we use our Gods to fight our battles? Humanity must accept responsibility for its violence and to find ways to live peacefully with our differences. We can never attain justice and peace through war; War only begets more War? It has always been so.


Humanity must again discover the path of compassion. Each and every one of us, regardless of race, creed, nation or culture, must learn to deal with our own emotions and pain. We can no longer project our sadness, despair, inferiority, and hopelessness out into the world and onto "others." Instead, we must first acknowledge our feelings of anger, shame, fear, and disappointment and face them within. It is only in the inner dimensions of personhood, individually and collectively, that humanity can successfully transform its fears into effective solutions and invite Peace into our hearts, our homes, our communities and our world.


Humankind did not create Earth. Nor did we create the many and diverse creatures who share our planet with us. Earth is a precious gift that is given to all its inhabitants by our Creator. We are merely guests, invited for a very brief visit. We are asked only to honor the rules and ways of Mother Earth's household, and to protect and nurture all of existence. And, when our visit is over, each of us will leave this world behind for other possibilities and realities. It has always been so.


In return for our cooperation, Mother Earth generously bestows her bounty upon humankind. She has never asked us to pay for the air we breathe, the water we drink, or the land that we dwell upon. It is only humankind that greedily sells, buys, rents and leases her precious land and her dwindling resources. Humankind has become the most dangerous predator on the face of the Earth. We have willingly and arrogantly taken what we wanted, killed more than half of Earth's creatures and destroyed our precious biosphere. We do so at our peril!


For we have forgotten that life is dependent upon all of Earth's inhabitants for sustenance, whether from the sun, plants, animals, birds or creatures of the sea. We have also forgotten that whomever destroys the fragile web of life and damages Earth's biosphere brings destruction upon themselves as well. Our children cry out for a more noble future and ask us to:


"Take good care of the Earth.

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was lent to you by your children." Kenyan Proverb


Indeed, our children and their children's children already recognize that we live on a planet which is truly Holy. They wonder why we continue to fight about who owns this "Holy Land?" Isn't it time to acknowledge that the whole planet is God's creation and hence, all land is "Holy?" And if all land is Holy, then are not all of us "Holy People?"


Humankind must again return to the ways of Holiness. We must again acknowledge the Divinity that forms, sustains, and interpenetrates all of existence. We have begun a new Millennium filled with possibility and purpose. Let us bring honor to our Holy Planet and to all her Holy People by agreeing that there are No Holy Wars. Let us learn the ways of Peace and invite gladness into our hearts. Amen.

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