OUR INABILITY TO ADORE
People today have been greatly stunted in discovering God. It’s not that they are atheists. It’s that they have made themselves «incapable of God». When a man or woman only seeks to know love under decadent forms, when their life is exclusively motivated by selfish interests of benefit or gain, something dries up in their heart.
Many today live a style of life that overwhelms and impoverishes them. Grown old prematurely, hardened inside, incapable of opening themselves to God for any glimmer of their existence, they walk through life without the inner company of anyone.
The theologian Alfred Delp, executed by the Nazis, saw in this ‘inner hardening’ the greatest danger for modern people: «Thus a person ceases to raise the hands of one’s being toward the stars. The inability of today’s people to adore, love and venerate has its root in their excessive ambition and in the hardening of their existence».
This inability to adore God has also seized many believers, who only seek a «useful God». They’re only interested in a God who serves their individualistic projects. God thus ends up converted into an «article of consumption» to be used up according to our conveniences and interests. But God is something else. God is infinite Love, incarnate in our own existence. And in the face of that God, what’s most important is adoration, celebration, thanksgiving.
When we forget this, Christianity runs the risk of becoming a gigantic effort of humanization, and the Church into an institution that is always strained, always exhausted, always with the sensation of not accomplishing the moral success for which she fights and pushes herself.
However Christian faith is above all the discovery of God’s goodness, a thankful experience that God alone saves: the gesture of the Magi before the Child of Bethlehem expressed the main attitude of every believer before God-made-human.
God exists. God is there in the depth of our life. We are sheltered by God. We aren’t lost in the middle of the universe. We can live with confidence. Before a God whom we only know as Love, there’s no room but for joy, adoration and thanksgiving. That’s why «when a Christian thinks that she is no longer capable of praying, she ought to at least be joyful» (Ladislao Boros).
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf