A small excerpt from the book Show me the Way: Daily Lenten Readings by Henri J.M. Nouwen that really spoke to me. Emphasis added. I hope you enjoy.
“The converted person does not say that nothing matters any more, but that everything that IS happens in God and that God is the dwelling place where we come to know the true order of things. Instead of saying: ‘Nothing matters any more, since I know that God exists,’ the converted person says: ‘All is now clothed in divine light and therefore nothing can be unimportant.’ Converted persons see, hear, and understand with a divine eye, a divine ear, a divine heart. Converted persons know themselves and all the world in God. Converted persons are where God is, and from that place everything matters: giving water, clothing the naked, working for a new world order, saying a prayer, smiling at a child, reading a book, and sleeping in peace.
All has become different while all remains the same.”
Why are we so infatuated with coffee or preaching or music, if it isn’t the most important thing? Are we that shallow? Why do we lose the point in the midst of all the things trying to make the point?
We know when we have a good cup of coffee.
Things like coffee can be judged and measured. We know when we have heard a good homily because we have an emotional or intellectual reaction. We know when the music works for us because our toe taps, and we are tempted, dare I say it, to sing and pray along. We know when we walk into a church, look up into the mosaic covered dome and utter “Oh my God” (not at all in vain) in reaction the undeniable beauty before our eyes.
We want to know something has happened when we go to Church. We want to be able to observe or even measure the value we received. If Church is going to be worth our time, we want to know that it worked. Not only do we want Church to be actually good for us, we want to be aware, to know, that it was good.
Thus, we put more importance on good music, entertaining preaching (did I laugh?), and coffee because when those things are good, we know we got something out of Mass. When those things aren’t good we often walk out of Mass and don’t know that we were affected. We may even think nothing has happened. Read More