The division between faith and life, between Sunday and every other day, between God’s time and our’s, is one of the greatest and most harmful misconceptions of our age. So many people have come to regard their faith as another “interest” checked off when subscribing to a new online account. Many of good heart, have even strove to put it as number one on their list of priorities. Still, the poor understanding continues: God isn’t only number one on the priority list, he is the paper upon which all priorities are written. Our relationship with him isn’t just the most important one, it is the relationship of all relationships, the fertile ground upon which all else relies.
This may seem to some an all too theoretical distinction, one with little practical value. I would argue the contrary; there is nothing more practical, nothing that bears more consequences in your day to day life than one’s core understanding and disposition towards God and His presence in your life.
An interesting question to ask is, what is religion all about? What does it mean? Are we, like the Romans of old, more pietists than anything else, completing rituals and social norms, hoping for a ray of divine favor to lighten our daily load? Or is it something more?
In essence, a “religious” person is, above all, someone who has discovered, accepted, and oriented their lives according to one essential truth: the source and focus of my life comes not from myself, but from another, from God. According to our faith, even our decision of faith was possible because God came first to us, he always “primerea” us (using Pope Francis’ neologism), that is, he precedes us. He precedes us and is with us in all we do, whether we are aware of it or not! Only when this fundamental truth takes flesh in our hearts, our thoughts, and our daily actions, will we be able to live an integral faith in which all of our life and actions, including our jobs, are lived in, by, and for the presence of God.
The recognition of God’s presence in our lives is not to discredit our efforts, but rather to discover a God whose love is so profound, that it bestows freedom upon His sons and daughters, in order to invite them to rejoice in the creation experience, the experience of working so as bring to light the richness that lies within. This is a gift which requires responsibility, it requires that we say yes! We have not received this great a love so that we can just sit back and watch life pass us by from a balcony above! We must put our gifts and talents to use; we must work so that our passions and dreams may come to life. For who else but He has put them there?
And, believe me, this is a truth that will in the end set each of us free! From it bursts forth a new wave of meaning, of peace, of direction, and of strength to go out and face our daily tasks, however great, humble, or challenging they may be. Now more than ever, we must seek to live and transmit this way of Christian living. For all the talk of economic crisis, there is no greater crisis than that of meaning and purpose. For our hearts hunger for a different kind of bread, for a bread which Christ called the will of his Father, because this bread is one which satisfies a much deeper hunger.
**As a final note, this video is produced in a political context and thus implies certain stances. I don’t have sufficient knowledge to offer an opinion regarding them, so please take the video as is.