Friday, February 9, 2018

In Search of the Sacred

We live in a secularist world environment. In the last house census over half of the Koreans  reported they have no religion. Those of us with a religion do not come across as being much different from anybody else. Sacredness is not something that is easily discovered in the life of religious people. A Jesuit priest on the opinion page of the Catholic Times introduces us to his thoughts on the sacred.

In our society, we see a great deal of uncertainty: unemployment, North Korea and the nuclear issue, the direction of society towards artificial intelligence. Everybody is intent on making a living: interested in going in search of what each considers their ultimate goal of life. How many are interested in the sacred and to experience the sacred in their lives?

From the beginning, the boundary between the holy and the secular was not present. All that God made was holy. The whole world is to be a temple of the sacred. Our journey to God is a journey to find the sacred, a fuller life, a spiritual life.

Zen Buddhism and Catholic Monasticism say that everything in daily life is sacred. Catholicism says that human life and the foundation of our moral vision for society is sacred. The writer points out that housewives are living this life in their daily work and living a form of priesthood and participating in the work of creation in a great degree.

When we are concerned with the preciousness of life at our work site we are dealing with the sacred. This is something that doctors will not experience when they are only working for a livelihood and do not meet the patients as persons when making a diagnosis. He as a priest when he doesn't do all he can to help a person grow spiritually he is only a person with a job and not witnessing to the sacredness of life.

In the midst of social conflicts pursuing the common good, we find the sacredness of life. God wants to elevate the dignity of the poor and wants us to help share more of the world's goods and services with them. "In their proper spheres, the political community and the Church are mutually independent and self-governing. Yet, by a different title, each serves the personal and social vocation of the same human beings." (#76 The Church Today: Vat. II) The Church respects the inherent characteristics of religion and politics but calls for ethical judgments of political power in order to promote the common good.

Church desires  through the political system not only the happiness of a few privileged people but the happiness of all: a fuller life and happiness working always for the common good. We witness to the sacred in seeking a new order, reconciliation and co-existence without trapping ourselves with self-imposed fences.

In the many conflicts of our society:  North and South tensions, labor problems, political party conflicts, youth and the aged, God doesn't just choose between alternatives but as a parent caring for all the children shows greater concern for the weakest child. 

He finishes the article with a quote from Father Peter Arrupe 28th Superior General of the  Jesuits: 
"Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything."

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