Book review: ‘Holy Moments: A Handbook for the Rest of Your Life’
“Holy Moments: A Handbook for the Rest of Your Life.” By Matthew Kelly. West Palm Beach, Florida: Blue Sparrow, 2022. 128 pages. Hardcover: $24.95; Kindle: $8.49; Nook: $8.49.
Matthew Kelly’s new book, “Holy Moments: A Handbook for the Rest of Your Life,” could also aptly be subtitled “Applied Scripture.” To be completely honest, there is nothing new here; what is different is Kelly’s personal take on the lessons that God has been teaching humanity since the beginning. The fact that he has found it necessary to remind us of what those lessons are is proof that “taught” is not always synonymous with “observed” or “followed.”
The main thrust of Kelly’s book is that life is made up of more small moments than it is large ones. If, however, we want the large events to be good and holy and true, we get there by first paying attention to how we handle the small ones. He maintains that when we treat each decision, each encounter with another human being and each choice to do or not do something as an opportunity for holiness, we lay the groundwork for a life and a world that is in line with what God wills for humanity. If, however, we let those same moments slip by haphazardly, well, we have seen how that often turns out.
In short, our choices, even the small ones, matter. Or, as Luke 16:10 puts it, “The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.”
So what are Holy Moments? “A Holy Moment is a single moment in which you open yourself to God,” Kelly explains. “You make yourself available to Him. You set aside personal preference and self-interest, and for one moment you do what you prayerfully believe God is calling you to do.” It is, as he continues, a collaboration with God that isn’t beyond anyone’s capability. It can be as simple as a kind word for the harried check-out clerk at the supermarket, or, as in one example he shares, providing incarcerated individuals with Mother’s Day greeting cards so they too, could show appreciation to the women who were important in their lives. He also spends a couple of pages citing moments we could all make a bit more holy, such as “Be patient with that person who drives you crazy” or “Take your spouse’s car and fill it with gas” or simply “Pray for the people who are having the hardest day of their lives right now.”
Creating Holy Moments certainly makes us feel good, but their value goes far beyond mere “warm fuzzies.” It is how we collaborate with God to help bring about what we ask for every time we pray the Lord’s prayer: “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
“The future of the world quite literally depends on humanity accessing its Spiritual Intelligence,” Kelly says. “Politics, economics, and technology will always fail to address our greatest challenges, because they exist on the lower plane of material consciousness where the problems themselves were created. … It is time to stop searching for worldly solutions to spiritual problems.”
True to his style, Kelly spends the bulk of the book giving real life examples of people who have lived Holy Moments, and that is where he does his best work. He can be somewhat repetitious getting from one point to the other, but once he engages with real life scenarios, there is no arguing with his conclusions. After all, his “Handbook” is based firmly on the one book we all need at any time in life, and that is the Word of God in Scripture.
“Made in the image of God, you have an astounding capacity for goodness,” he says near the end of the book. “Now is your time. Time to be bold with your goodness. Time to start creating Holy Moments. You were made in the image of God. Act accordingly.”
Matthew Kelly is a best-selling author, speaker, entrepreneur, consultant, spiritual leader and innovator. He has dedicated his life to helping people and organizations become the-best-version-of-themselves. His books have been published in more than 30 languages and have appeared on The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller lists; to date, they have sold more than 50 million copies. Kelly’s and his wife, Meggie, have five children.