February 08, 2007

The Spirit in Real Time

Reading journal entries from the 1980s, I can see my relationship with God then was much less interactive. I was allergic to superstition so I refused to see God influencing current or personal events. I wasn't apt to make connections between events, by seeing chance meetings as providential or by trusting "Godincidences" because, after all, science told me that the purely coincidental happens. I considered those things manifestations of Fundamentalism, whereupon soon I would be saying, as if slightly mad, "God told me to do this" where "do this" would be some sort of ghastly thing.

Back then my relationship with God was more like snail mail, where the snail was traveling at the rate of one mile per decade. Unanswered prayers could be attributed to the great distance between Heaven and earth. So the thinking became this: "I love God. God loves me. Now what? How do I occupy my time until getting to the the point at which things happen - Heaven." In other words, it's sort of how John Adams was separated for years from his beloved Abigail. He wrote her, of course, (prayer in this analogy) but he also had something to occupy him fully (our nation's independence) before reaching Heaven (i.e. reunion with Abigail).

Given this, it's not too surprising that what drew me close to the Church in the mid-90s after a period of fallowness was a much livelier faith in the Eucharist. Nothing is more interactive than Holy Communion, and it's this experience of the Risen Christ - His Pledge to be with us always - that keeps a Catholic's relationship with God from becoming distant.

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