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Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
August 13, 2006
Faith and Excitement - Are They Mutually Exclusive?

    When I was a child somewhere between the ages of nine and twelve, it often happened that my friends and I would be very bored.  I still have memories of times when we were so bored that we would wish that something exciting would happen.  “Why can’t there be a fire or something?” we would say.  Needless to say we didn’t consider the ramifications of such “excitement”.  It’s not that we wanted someone’s house to be destroyed, we just wanted to see and hear the fire trucks whistling by.  Now that’s desperation.

    Today’s society is filled with people who “need” excitement in their lives.  The proof is the way people fill their lives with “toys” that they hope will give them something exciting to do in their spare time.  We work ourselves to the bone in order to afford these toys then we cram our spare time “enjoying” them.  Our life becomes so frazzled that we don’t know if we’re coming or going.  We don’t have two minutes to breathe and to really enjoy the life we have.

    One problem with our desire for constant excitement is that we seem to think that we have to go further and further away from God and the affairs of being God’s people or Church. For some reason we have become staunch believers in the idea that God and religion are boring.  Perhaps that is because we believe that everything related to God and his kingdom is peaceful and serene.  Ugh, who wants that, now.  We are too young to be so peaceful.  We need excitement.  When we are old, and that age is getting pushed further and further, we will be happy with boring and peaceful.  Now, we need excitement, something to do.

    Well, guess what!  God is way ahead of us, again.  In reality, God and his kingdom are anything but boring and serene.  Fr. Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O. tells us that “in order to follow Christ into the Kingdom, we have to give up the myth of rising to some kind of serenity in which nothing can disturb us, or to a wisdom by means of which we can answer all questions and doubts... we may even find ourselves struggling with monumental corruption within ourselves.”  Oh, ouch!  Now that is not boring.  The question is probably closer to, can we handle it?

    What Keating tells us is that God’s Kingdom (or the place he chooses to reside) “is where you least think it is and where you don’t expect to find it.  As a matter of fact, it may be most active where you don’t even want to find it!”  Now isn’t that the Truth.  It’s not that God is boring, it’s that he is just too much for us to handle. 

    If we really want excitement, we need to place ourselves in the middle of things and remember that we are like yeast in the process of helping to make the bread rise.  We can be yeast anywhere.  It can happen on the street, in our home, in a hospital or our place of work.  It can be on a mountain top or a desert, a ghetto or a battlefield, i.e., anywhere at all.  Helping difficult or sad or desperate situations to rise to new life is plenty of excitement in my view, what about yours?  If we are willing to get our hands dirty, we will surely find plenty of excitement in our lives.  It won’t cost us half the money we spend on toys and we will have tremendous satisfaction besides.  What a deal!

                            Lorette P. Nault