Smoke! I first heard this expression after watching an old version of Batman Film played by Adam West. But did you know that these supposed exclamations of surprise have blasphemous origin, along the same lines of “Damn” and “Darn”? According to a book that i have read recently, “Holy Mackerel,” which dates back at leat 200 years, was a reference insult to Catholics eating fish on Fridays ( abstinence of meat during Lenten Season). Mackerel was an affordable fish for Catholics on limited budget. (Just think of “Holy Tilapia” or “Holy Galung-gong” for Filipino! LOLS). Mean While, the term “Holy Cow” had the same connotation reference to Hindus who consider cow sacred. “Holy Smoke”, in other hands, is a jibe at incense used for religious, well, holy rituals.
But You know what? the idea of including “holy” things and saintly persons still prevails. When i was in high school, i was finding God in a deeper way in my life. I held Bible in my hand and quoted Scriptures, along with a growing compassion for the poor. But i bet you know how i was treated by my peers for these. I was mocked and sneered at! “Brother Milton”, Father Milton” and “Saint Milton” weren’t exactly kind compliments hurled at me then. And i was in Catholic schools with Catholic classmates and friends all my student life.
Even now, i still hearing terms, which becoming nastier, like hypocrite and puritan which hurts me a lot. Yet, I even as kid, that holiness is beautiful thing to aspire for. And that Sainthood is a goal for everyone. Because Holiness is to love more~ loving God and others more. And sainthood is not far behind when you love more. Because when you love God and others more, holy and saintly things happen to you. You avoid Sin. You pray more often and help needy. You ask forgiveness from God and from people whom you have wronged. You forgive others especially those who persecute you. And you give your best in everything you do. And remember that holiness and saintliness without love is just like Holy Mackerel and Holy Cow covered with Holy Smoke!