December 16, 2015
Truly great things are not loved. Rather, it is Love that first makes them great. This is witnessed in perhaps its truest form in in the case of humanity.
One of the greatest challenges since the invention of the sentient mind has been to find the meaning in monotony; many would argue that the vast majority of world religions were "created" in order to fill a confusing and difficult life with meaning. The growing popularity of mindfulness practices suggests that, while organized religion might be falling out of favor among the young people of today, there is still a deeply imperfect part of our hearts that does not delight easily, and to compensate we strain to discover meaning inour threateningly mundane day-to-day.
Coming to our defense is the mighty Yahweh. God is greatness itself, and it is His love that makes things great again (rather than slogans on Trump's hats).
G.K. Chesterton wrote about monotony in Orthodoxy:
His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life.... [Children] always say, "Do it again" and the grow-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them.
In short, I had always believed that the world involved magic: now I thought that perhaps it involved a magician. And this pointed a profound emotion always present and subconscious; that this world of ours has some purpose; and if there is a purpose, there is a person. I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story there is a story-teller (Orthodoxy, p 92-93)
When the love of God, who never tires, enters our broken equation, we find ourselves redeemed and renewed, and called to respond in humility and gratitude, and we must protect the beautifully repetitive creation we have received because his Love and Mercy have saved it (and us) from a wreck.
What does it mean to respond with humility and gratitude? A couple of action items that come to mind:
- Being attentive to and participating in the life of the Church
- Do some reading on the Jubilee of Mercy and participate in any way you can!
- Keep going!
- In times of distress, just keep moving forward, trusting that God has led you to where you are now. Saint Ignatius gave the incredibly important Rule 5 to emphasize exactly this.
- Here is one of my favorite homilies in a long time, relating to this subject! Download the podcast and listen on the subway. After that, listen to every other episode ever.
I came to feel as if magic must have a meaning, and meaning must have some one to mean it. There was something personal in the world, as in a work of art; whatever it meant it meant violently. (Orthodoxy, p 99)
This magic, this extremely personal work of art, is the love of Jesus Christ for your soul, your heart, and your mind. Take heart, keep going, and participate in the promise of Christ's coming and salvation this Advent.
Praised be Jesus Christ.