There is a beautiful hymn often sung in Communion that starts with “O Lord, you are the center of my life.” Today, I want to ask you: Is God the center of your life? We might go to Mass and say our morning and evening prayers, but what about the rest of the week and the hours in between the time we wake up and the time we go to sleep? St. Paul said to
“Pray without ceasing.”
How exactly do we do that? A quote often associated with St. Francis of Assisi says
“Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.”
It’s not enough for us to just go to Mass and go about our lives as if Mass was just a part of our routine. Our day to day actions need to show the world that receiving the Eucharist makes a difference in us.
We may not be bowing down before statues of cows, but we do have a tendency to allow other things to take over our lives like money or our desire for other people’s approval. We try to control aspects of our lives that we actually have no real control over. Worst of all, we tend to put ourselves at the center of our lives, acting like the world owes us something just because we exist. In other words, even in this day and age, we still make idols.
Elizabeth Scalia wrote this wonderful book called Strange Gods that delves into the various things that we put at the center of our lives instead of God. She lists things such as ourselves, ideologies, prosperity, technology, being cool, having pleasure, the plans that we make, and a lot of other things beyond your average teenybopper boy band or national talent show singer. What do all of these things have in common? Aside from making an idol out of ourselves, everything else has something to do with things that are outside of our control. We all have this tendency to want to be in control of everything. You know what they call that? Having a God complex.
Fr. Robert Barron boils down the diversity of idolatry to four “addictions,”: money, pleasure, power, and honor. Get addicted to money and you’ll end up becoming like Ebenezer Scrooge or Donald Trump. Pleasure is addicting because it’s easily found, but doesn’t last long. Power is something every conqueror in history sought but didn’t have for long. And as for honor? Think about the times that you wanted to feel appreciated more than anything else. Think about the times you felt overlooked in your job or education or when someone took more credit than you think they deserved. Those are times where we tend to make an idol of honor.
When we go to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist or visit Christ in Adoration, do we approach the altar with all the love that we give the other things in our lives or do we give more than that? If we receive Communion in the same way that we passively do the laundry or pay our bills, but give more devotion to something as small as a football game, we’re doing it wrong. (Sorry, football fans!)
Christ should be at the center of our lives, especially when we receive him in the Eucharist and spend time with him in Adoration.
Make Christ the center of your life today, dearest sisters in Christ, and pray without ceasing! God bless!