Summary of The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity by Matthew Kelly

This is the lie: Holiness is not possible” (32).

The biggest lie in the history of Christianity… is not one that non-Christians tell. It’s a lie we tell ourselves as Christians… that holiness is not possible… we might believe that holiness is possible for some medieval saint… but just not for us…

  • “Search your heart. Do you believe holiness is possible for you?” (32)

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The GREAT NEWS is that “this diabolical lie can be utterly demolished, completely debunked, in about ninety seconds” (34).

How so? Matthew Kelly explains… Suppose we are having coffee together and I say to you, Can you go out tomorrow and create just one Holy Moment? Not a holy life or even a holy day. Not a holy hour or even a holy fifteen minutes – just one single Holy Moment.

  • A Holy Moment is when “you simply do what you prayerfully believe God is calling you to do in that moment” (36).

Holy Moments prove that holiness is possible for you!

Since holy men and women were people who had a lot of Holy Moments (rather than “holy lives)… with plenty of unholy moments too… and we know that we can create a Holy Moment… holiness is possible for us!

  • “The single truth that Holy Moments are possible and that you and I – with all our faults and flaws, defects and weaknesses, brokenness and constant need – can collaborate with God and create a single Holy Moment is life-changing” (44). 

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One Holy Moment provides the blueprint for thousands of Holy Moments” (38).

Today… 1 Holy Moment… Tomorrow… 2 Holy Moments… Some day next week, 8 Holy Moments… the more you try it out, the better you’ll get.

  • “The truth that Holy Moments are possible reminds us that in the face of the overwhelming problems in our world, we can wake each day and joyfully share God’s truth, goodness, and beauty with everyone who crosses our path” (43).

Characteristics of Holy Moments:

1) Staggeringly simple – Holy Moments are accessible, achievable, and immensely practical (36). Opportunities to create Holy Moments are everywhere. In fact, every moment is an opportunity for holiness.

  • Creating Holy Moments is all about recognizing the extraordinary in the ordinary and living beautiful lives of simple holiness defined by gentleness, humility, thoughtfulness, generosity, courage, kindness, service to our community, and hospitality (72).

2) Grace-filled actions – Holy Moments are fueled by God’s grace – that’s why they are “holy” – thankfully, God loves collaborating with us and His grace is never lacking.

  • “Our quest to create Holy Moments draws us into communion with God in the present moment, creating an explosion of awareness and joy” (96).

3) Universally attractive – Holy Moments shine even brighter in this dark culture.

  • “The future of Christianity and the world will rise and fall based upon the unconsidered possibility that the average person in the street is capable of collaborating with God to create Holy Moments on a daily basis” (56).

4) Incredibly contagious – Holy Moments trigger a chain reaction of Holy Moments.

  • Holy Moments can change the world by using Jesus’ method to found His ministry – the principle of Spiritual Multiplication.  Simply put – invest in a small group of people, like Peter, James, and John, teach them how to create Holy Moments and become disciples of Jesus, then empower them to go out and do the same for another small group of people.

4) Game changers – History is made one moment at a time. Each moment is a Holy Moment or an unholy moment. Holy Moments are the game changers for our culture.

  • “Does the world need changing? It sure does. What does the world need? It needs millions of Holy Moments. How many will you contribute?” (70)

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Examples of Holy Moments:

Begin each day with a short prayer of gratitude, thanking God for giving you another day of life. That’s a Holy Moment.

Offer the least enjoyable tasks of your day to God as a prayer for someone who is suffering. That’s a Holy Moment. 

Control your temper, even if you are fully justified in losing it. That’s a Holy Moment. 

Patiently coach someone who doesn’t know how to do something or did something wrong. That’s a Holy Moment. 

Encourage someone, coach someone, praise someone, affirm someone. These are all Holy Moments. 

Go out of your way to do something for your spouse that you would rather not do, as an intentional act of love. That’s a Holy Moment. 

Be patient with that person who drives you crazy. Smile at a stranger. These are Holy Moments. 

Do someone else’s chores. Clean up your room. Those are Holy Moments. 

Teach someone how to pray. Pray with someone right away when they ask you for prayers. These are Holy Moments. 

Give someone a life-changing book. That’s a Holy Moment.

Ask God to lead and guide you. Stop what you’re doing right now and pray to God. Say the Divine Mercy 3 O’Clock Hour Prayer. These are Holy Moments. 

Stay calm in the midst of a crisis. That’s a Holy Moment. 

Tell someone your faith story. Share your testimony on Facebook. Ask your pastor to get involved at the parish. These are Holy Moments. 

Choose the-best-version-of-yourself, even when you don’t feel like it. That’s a Holy Moment. 

Make a healthy eating choice. Pray before a meal. Prayer after a meal. These are Holy Moments. 

Get honest with yourself about your self-destructive habits. That’s a Holy Moment. 

Tell God you trust he has a great plan for you and your life. That’s a Holy Moment. 

Give whoever is in front of you your full attention. That’s a Holy Moment.  

Writing a book summary online. That’s a Holy moment (I hope! haha)

“So get out there and start creating Holy Moments – one at a time, as many as you can each day” (113).

To conclude, let’s pray with this simple petition that captures the heart of this book:

  • “Lord, please, I beg you, never let me forget that holiness is possible, and give me the grace and courage to go out into the world and create with you as many Holy Moments as possible. Amen.”

 

 

Trackbacks

  1. […] And Matthew Kelly’s book, The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity, upon which my homily is largely based, helps to show why it’s such a diabolical and deceptive lie (click here for my summary notes of this book). […]

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