Spiritual Journey: Holy

Why is it that, as I began to think of a November theme for my Spiritual Journey writer-friends, that the word holy came to mind?

I suppose it was connected with the start of the holiday season…holiday, from the original Old English, hāligdæg, means holy day.

I am writing this on a holy day to many around the world, All Soul’s Day. Following All Saint’s Day. Following All Hallow’s Eve…a holy triduum for remembering the dead, collectively known as Allhallowtide. On Halloween morning I saw a mystical fiery rainbow in the clouds, a colorful band of light joining earth to heaven. Genesis 9:13 played in my mind: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. A promise from God. There’s also a rainbow around the throne of God (Revelation 4:3).

Holy. As in hallowed.

I think of votive candles lit in memory of deceased loved ones, the bright flames driving the dark away, the way that hope does in the despairing soul. So many holy-day observances involve the lighting of candles.

My little granddaughter had her first birthday at the end of October. A solitary candle burned on her cake, representing her one year of life.


It also means blessed.

For me, holy is closely linked to my life-word, awe, in that they encompass the divine and a reverence for it. Even a shadowing of fear. When I was a small child attending church with my grandparents, I sensed all of this on entering the sanctuary, long before I had words to convey it. I did not know, then, about the ancient Holy of Holies, the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle where God’s presence dwelt, that only the High Priest could enter it once a year to make atonement for the Israelites, and that anyone else trying to do so would die. Even the High Priest had to prepare with great care.

Holy. It means sacred, consecrated, set apart.

The ancient Jews considered the Holy of Holies the spiritual junction of heaven and earth.

I looked at all the white-rail decor in that long-ago Methodist church and could not understand, describe, or convey…but I sensed holy and trembled.

My other granddaughter, age six, was baptized recently. I watched her, robed in white, descending into the baptismal pool where the preacher—her stepfather, my son—held out his hand to her. Her little face was aglow with the faith of a child (the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these), looking up at her dad with absolute trust. My son was overcome with emotion.

Holy. Pure.

My spirit clings to the word. Although it seems like life is often consumed by an ever-raging sea of unholiness, the holy is always there, like a luminous lifeline. It shines in faces of children. It swells in birdsong, in music so beautifully composed that it draws tears. It lives in extraordinary, self-sacrificial acts of love. It manifests itself in healing. In forgiveness. I see it often in nature, obeying its patterns, displaying such breathtaking glory and wonders that one forgets the brokenness of things. Yes, when the slant of light is just right, one gets a shot of awe, a glimpse above and beyond, a perceiving of holy. Of the presence of God. Like a fiery rainbow on Halloween morning.

In the end, it is all a matter of opening the soul to seeing.

Here’s to finding the holy in every day of the journey.

I wrote a poem about the rainbow on All Hallow’s Eve; people forget the Christian connections to the day.

Spiritual Journey Friends, please share your links in the comments below – blessings to you all!

16 thoughts on “Spiritual Journey: Holy

  1. This very concepts gives the most meaning to my life. While I am not denominationally observant, a holy, sacred, wondrous, transcendent presence pervades me in my most vibrant moments; any disconnect from it darkens my way. Your examples of personal witness illustrate something that could easily defy verbal expression, but you fortify one important word and poetically bring the concept straight to our souls. Thank you for this powerful meditation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Paul, for your keen insight and for understanding exactly what I mean beyond words. Deep in our souls, we crave the holy. We were made to desire it. To transcend. Thank you for the rich, rich gift of your response.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes to holy practices and traditions that bring us together. Yes to nature, when we stand still and notice the holiness in the beauty of the rainbow, the birdsong. And yes to pausing during the busyness of these holy holidays, to fill our hearts with their true meanings and make memories to last lifetimes.

    Like you, Fran, my definition of holy expands beyond church walls. Thank you for this heart-full prompt for our circle. Here’s my link: https://horizon51.blogspot.com/2022/11/spiritual-journey-thursday-hallowed.html

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fran, this line really resonates with me, “the holy is always there, like a luminous lifeline”. Holy is all around us. We need to be open to it, Holy in not limited to just a church but can be anywhere we are. Thanks for giving us this great prompt. So apt for this time of year. Here is the link to my post: the holy is always there, like a luminous lifeline

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fran, I can always come to your posts and find the awe in life whether it is my spiritual life or personal life. The following line gives credence to the spirituality of life and awesomeness of nature as they unfold. “In the end, it is all a matter of opening the soul to seeing.” At present, I see a 5:00 opening to my 2nd keynote address on Zoom for the Reading Specialists Council of Suffolk on Long Island. I have been anxiously trying to get all my materials together. I ask the Lord for His holiness to surround me as I try to impart knowledge, tips, and practices to teachers as awakeners of learning and entry to their journey as teacher writers. My SJT post will follow as soon as I have time free. Thank you, Fran, for leading our community tonight with a post that provides calm and inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carol, I know that all you need will come together for you in this presentation – the Lord will guide and provide. It will be a rewarding experience for your participants. I look forward as always to reading your post – meanwhile, blessings upon you and thank you for blessing me and so many others through your work, words, and artistry. You strengthen my journeying spirit!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fran, the Lord was with me on Thursday night. I was able to get all my information in before the deadline time. I felt relieved and when I got feedback a couple of days ago, I thanked the Lord for uplifting me. Young teachers and even veteran ones need coaching. Your prompt was a beautiful pathway to self-reflection. I also wanted you to know that I have been reading your posts. Your little granddaughter and Scout are surrounded by God’s love brought to them by a loving family. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I adore this, Fran. Carol has invited and urged me to write here, to join in this soul-filling gathering. I can see why. This has made my heart joyful. I will find comfort, joy, a community here I knew I needed but hadn’t found. I worry about not having time and being inconsistent, but I will pray to be shown the way. Holy. Hallowed. Rainbows in the sky. Soul feeding light and warmth.
    Thank you all here and you and my friend, Carol. I “know” Ramona and Karen some and Margaret pretty well. I can see how I’d feel surrounded by love in this group.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Much love to you my good friend and I am probably later than you but we are here in our spirit. I will try to write more later.


      • Many thank-yous and glad to be part of this. I have had busy days but will get this on my schedule.
        I have to read something Carol sent me so I can post. I do have a nice thing to share.
        Hello to all. I am a Christian and an active prayer who believes in the power of prayer and goodness. I love sharing my love of others that is a blessing in my life I know from Holy Spirit, but I am new to this part of my journey, despite being a believer since very very young and a wonderful experience of God’s love and care at age 6. I am with the grands so that is a 24/7 experience because we are the nanny/visiting grands/playmates and givers while here which we adore.
        I will be back as often as I possibly can. Much love to all my new and “old” friends here.


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