Friday, October 19, 2012


Four Chinese ideograms are combined in the Korean language to spell out very clearly the English word 'unique,' the one-of-a-kind concept. The columnist of the spiritual page of the Catholic Times reflects on this idea for our spiritual well being.

This one-of-a-kind concept, he says, is shrouded in mystery. Every moment, every place, is unique; it's God's gift to us and is never repeated. But is it not our tendency, he asks, to see most of what we experience--for example, our morning, noon and evening meals--as the same repeatable events, and being satisfied with this common observation? "Why complicate it with God's will?" we might ask ourselves, he says. However, it is necessary for a Christian to understand that the gifts of time and place are also accompanied with God's inspiration and wisdom on what to do with these gifts. Aren't these the content of much of the Bible, and easily discernible in the Beatitudes?

Life should be an obedient concurrence with God's providence, his will for us, which will result, if followed, in mercy toward others, living in harmony with creation, working with what we have been given, and seeing this realized. Though achieving these goals will be slow, the columnist is convinced that little by little we will see them manifest in our life.

This is the way we are programed. Children are very passive in the beginning of their lives but shortly become active. Children in school, those in catechism class, all start with a passive attitude that in time becomes active. Passivity is not something bad but a step to something else. There are times in the catechumenate when the first steps are taken in obedience, and then there often is the critical stage: we are right, others are wrong, putting no restraint on our thoughts. This stage can be superseded by a passive state in which we open ourselves up to  what God wants to give us.

This step is not just following a few things that God wants from me, but  my changing myself completely. To put it differently: it's changing my inflexible faith tendencies to more openness, patience, mellowness, obedience, constancy, sincerity, and the like. It is the way we concur with the will of God and open to the practice of these virtues to a greater degree.

Our life is to be open to this harmony with God's desire for us. It is in this way that every moment of every day has a different meaning given to us by God. Without this thinking, everything becomes routine.

When we live in concurrence with the Will of God all is done in his presence. All is filled with his presence. The tabernacle, the altar, the cross, the fields, the flowering plant, the writing we do, the power switch on our computer, the spoon we hold eating our meals--all is seen in the presence of God and beyond. Through me, God can be made more visible to the world. 

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