I caught myself doing it again this week–what I’ve taken to calling “praying past” God. It’s an awful, insidious habit, and I suspect I’ve been doing it pretty much my whole life. I guess it boils down to treating my relationship with God as a means to some other end, and not as the end in itself.
Do we strive for perfection as Christians in order to reach heaven and thus be eternally happy? Of course. But in the end, what’s more important? My happiness? Or the fulfillment of the will of God, who created me and wants me to be happy? It’s a funny, fine line, and one that I was never really aware of until I came to the point in my life as a single young adult where I realized I didn’t want this to be It. And I laid it all out before Him and said, “Look, I’ve done everything right. So what are you waiting for?” And He said, “You’ve got me. So what else are you looking for?”
I”ll admit, this has been one of those weeks when hope is pretty hard to muster. The future is a great big unknown, and the hardest part isn’t not knowing what’s coming–it’s not even knowing what I want to be coming or what I’m hoping for. Now this isn’t meant to be a pity party or anything of that sort; I’m incredibly happy and blessed in my life right now, and I know it and thank God for it. But I know a lot of you know what I’m talking about when I say that some days the sense of aimless drifting in a blind fog can be a little bit overpowering.
Isn’t it great to be Catholic, though? While all other things are hazy and intangible, we have one thing that’s delightfully concrete and utterly simple: the Eucharist. We get to hold God in our mouths, every day if we want to (and are properly disposed). Such a funny anchor, a tiny pillar of strength, but there it is. When there’s nothing else, here’s everything, disguised as an insignificant piece of bread. What else am I looking for?