It has been happening to me over the past few weeks. There has been a quote by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI that, through my research and reading, I have come across in several different places. Each time it has caused me to pause and reflect. The Pope Emeritus said,
“The world promises you comfort,
but you were not made for comfort.
You were made for greatness.”
Benedict is absolutely right in saying that our world loves comfort. Our living spaces and working spaces are all perfectly climate-controlled. Our coffee shops have drive-thrus so we don’t have to get up from the seat-warmers in our car. Our tissues come with lotion for extra soothing softness. We’re so obsessed with comfort that even our blankets aren’t soft enough – we had to invent fabric softener.
One of the school children asked me a few weeks ago, “Father, why do we sit in pews at Mass?” Hmmm, maybe there is some spiritual significance to the fact that as we are participating in the saving mysteries we are sitting on a hard cold creaking wooden bench rather than in a cushioned La-Z-Boy recliner.
Discomfort prods us on and causes us to keep moving. We are not to become too snug and secure in this fallen world or with our fallen lives. We were made for something more. We were made for greatness, and the greatest greatness is holiness – reflecting the glory of God.
In my time here at Nativity of Mary I have become known as the “pacing priest.” One of the school teachers has dubbed me the “Roamin’ Catholic” because of the time I spend pacing around the parish and school. I love it here, but I also get restless. That’s why I pace, I think. I’m lost in wonder about what more there could be for us and eager to move forward.
Thanks to all of you for the sacrifices you are willing to make here at Nativity of Mary. Thanks for the ways that you are stepping outside of your own comfort zones so that we can see what more might be possible. Thanks for the ways that you have stopped expecting God to make things easier for you – but rather are grateful that God is challenging you to be stronger. Thanks for coming back every Sunday and sitting in these hard cold wooden benches as we wrestle out our own salvation and a better way for others.
Here’s to greater things to come – all for the greater glory of God,