A Holy Kiss
“Greet one another with a holy kiss”
exactly, many wonder, is a holy kiss?
holy kiss is a chaste
pressing of one’s lips upon the face of another which communicates
the love of God. It is, essentially, not your
kiss, but the kiss of God ... in which you are instrumental
in conveying not your own love, but the love of God.
You lend your lips to God.
That is to say, it is the love of God that comes through
you — and not a gratuitous gesture of your own personal affection.
That belongs to you ... not God. That is giving something unsolicited
to another, with the presumption that you yourself are giving
something greater to another, of greater value to another, than
God is attempting to give through you. It is the “gift” of yourself
... not the gift of God. One clear characteristic of a “holy kiss”
is that it is completely devoid of any sinful desires, any attempt
to awaken another to intimacy.
It is a pure gift not so much from one person to another,
as through one person to another; “pure” in that it is possessed
of nothing invested with desire in you. It is a communion between
persons in the shared love of God, that love of God that binds you
in a holy communion, a holy sharing of that same love for the same
The closer a person is to God the purer the expression of a holy
To kiss another, or to hold them in all purity, is a gift of God.
The pure heart seeks nothing for itself, but wishes only to express
its love for, and communion in, God with the other who loves Him
It is a tragic reality that in the world we now know, purity of
heart is rarely seen as a virtue. It is far more often regarded
as the possession of the Consecrated, or more likely still,
as as state of sterility ... even a morbid pathology. Not so..!
It is all too often presumed that any form, any expression of affection,
is, at least implicitly, sexual in nature, or invariably suggestive
of it. But this is not so.
The attaining of a genuinely pure heart is a long, long, struggle
— more so for some than others. It is a purgation of sorts.
We must be cleansed by God of all that would distort and deform
love, all that would pervert it into becoming manipulative, the
mere using of another for ones own selfish gratification.
A Sad Confusion
It is so very sad that nowadays any demonstration of love — and
here we speak of holy love, the love that is the communication of
God's own love between His people — is often subject to suspicion,
to prurient criticism, a criticism that speaks far more of what
festers in the heart of the critic than what obtains between the
holy love binding two people together in God. This is so sad. The
sinful heart can no longer distinguish between sin and sanctity
but views everything through the miasma of sin. It is blind to the
possibility, let alone the reality, of a genuine, holy, sincere,
deep and authentic love between two women, or two men, between
friends, between a man and a woman, even between an adult and a
child ... a love that does not implicate sex, that is not
rooted in, or expressed through, the flesh. It is cognizant only
of love as sensual ... which is to say, it is not cognizant of love
at all. There is no mutual love, only mutual gratification. We are
not to scold such souls, but to pity them. It is the perception
of love as a commodity traded in pounds of flesh. This is not sad.
It is deeply tragic.
A love that seeks fulfillment through chastity and purity
is painfully beautiful — and it is already a foretaste of Heaven!
And both are unseen by the world, cannot be comprehended by the
world any more than the God Who Is Love is comprehended by the world!
It truly is a deep share in the Divine Love, a pure love uncorrupted
by license and sensuality.
For those who experience it, chastity is a blinding beauty,
a beauty that can consume the soul totally ...
for it comes from God and returns to Him.
Many, coming to realize this beauty, look back upon their lives
with such deep regret for the choices they had made, for the sins
they had committed – and are discouraged or dissuaded from this
beautiful path to God! But purity of heart can
be regained, reacquired! We can become
like little children again: not by our own efforts, as long we've
since learned, but by God's grace, which even now, upon your reading
this very line, He holds out to you!
In a stunning rebuke to the world that equates love with sensuality
— Christ revealed more than the true nature of love. He revealed
Whom Love Is, and Who loved first — ever before flesh was created
— and then assuming that flesh, infused it with love and lived as
Love among us ... like unto us all in everything, except sin (Hebrews
A Poor Clare Colettine Nun
for the Boston Catholic Journal
Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti
verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power,
and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My
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