Walking With Headphones Through Life

By: Order of Mercy
PHILADELPHIA - Nov. 30, 2013 - PRLog -- Some of us sleep better than others. We all know some people who suffer from insomnia. Oftentimes this has to do with the person’s make-up and it runs in the family. Yet, there are many methods today to alleviate this difficult condition. There are a variety of beds which adjust to individual’s preference to allow for a more conducive environment to sleep. In more serious cases, individuals can try different drugs which can help them sleep. All of these methods are a wonderful use of human ingenuity to improve people’s quality of life.

However, as we see in today’s readings, allowing ourselves to become metaphorically drowsy or asleep can be disastrous for our spiritual lives. Three times we hear today that we must “stay awake.” We profess in the creed each Sunday that Jesus will come again. This Second Coming is something that we should long for as we prepare ourselves to meet God face to face. There is an expectation on the part of Jesus that His followers will be “ready”…”awake”… ”alert.” Naturally this means living the Gospel message practically in our daily lives. In some ways, it would be better to have spiritual insomnia or to be always vigilant and aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit who is with us always.

Pleasures and a blunt conscience

Pope Francis’s recent Apostolic Exhortation entitled “The Joy of the Gospel” talks about how we can become if we do not have this “vigilance.” Our Holy Father says, “Today’s world, pervaded as it is with consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of pleasures and a blunt conscience.” These are deep concepts, but the pope is talking about the emptiness that occurs when we try to fill the need for God with persons, places, and things.

It is true that all of the Lord’s creation is good. However, its purpose is to lead us to Him and not become an end in itself. Filling our days with all kinds of activities: work, multitasking, texting, twitting, or walking with headphones through life. In all this noise the pope says, “God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.” The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. Have we become apathetic and indifferent to God, who loves us into being?

Stay awake for God

Most people would consider themselves to be “good people,” but God is the measure of good and all goodness flows from Him. If we don’t know God we don’t know goodness. Those who do not have a real relationship with the Lord do not know how to love. It is only in the intimacy of a relationship with God that we learn how to love in a way that is self-sacrificing and unconditional. It is for this reason that Jesus asks us to be “vigilant” in listening and paying attention to God, who is all around us. He is present first of all in the Sacraments, but also in each person, in nature, and in all the circumstances of life. If we do not “stay awake” we become drowsy and fill ourselves with things that do not satisfy. God appears as a distant fairytale, since we take no time to be with Him.

This Advent we must rekindle our relationship with God. This will mean putting aside some of our desires, gadgets and plans, to be with Him. When we can place ourselves in His presence it changes us. We receive a new vision on life. The ability to see the Lord who speaks to us constantly. Who is present in big and in the small aspects of life. Then, we will really be awake. Really alive and ready for whenever Christ comes.

Fr. Joseph Eddy, O. de M., is a priest of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, or Order of Mercy. Fr. Joseph is the new vocation director of the order, and is a sign of a new vitality of this ancient group in the United States. You can visit their website at  http://orderofmercy.org/
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