Wednesday, August 27, 2014
“The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.”The key phrase in that, to my way of thinking, is, "Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades." Do we leave room for God's voice in our lives? The pope here is talking about rampant consumerism, an issue to be sure, but there is much more than merely things that can crowd our hearts. Sometimes our own emotional state is sufficient to do the job.
And a cautionary note. There seems to be a tendency these days to focus all mentions of "the other" on "the poor." I do not wish to take a single thing away from ministry to the poor, no I seek to add to it. But in doing so, we must remember that even those in material abundance have needs. We must also remember that it is easy to let our concern for the poor crowd God out of heart just like anything else.
To me, the real point of what the pope is saying here is that we must on occasion simply empty ourselves and make room for the Lord.
God room things