I don't think I ever really "got" holiness until recently. It seems like holiness is usually taught as a set of rules, plus the admonition to feel bad if you break them.
But in recent months, I have found myself considering what it is to be holy. I recently posted on another journal that I thought that life is what can make you holy. Not always, of course.
But sometimes life can make you holy.
I know people who are living lives that are very hard. Hard and unfair. They are doing things that they shouldn't have to do. And yet now, because of the lives that they are leading, they are holier people. Many of their character flaws have either disappeared completely, or are much softened. They responded to the horror that their lives had become, and instead of being twisted by their fate, they became holy people.
I believe now that the "rules" are only part of the holiness equation. I don’t think it is as trite as “making the right choice” but it is a matter of responding to the unjust life as if one believes that there is nothing to be gained by succumbing to indifference, bitterness, or evil.