St. Paul often says things that might escape our attention for the simple reason that he sometimes uses more words than our ears can hear at any one time. I have often thought that the person who first used the method that we now call Lectio Divina created it so that we could find the important words that might be hiding in the middle of a long statement. For instance, today St. Paul tells us that we were chosen to praise God.
In Voltaire’s Candide, the main character finds El Dorado, a utopia, a paradise on earth. When Candide asks about their religion, the priest says that of course they have a religion – it consists of thanking God constantly for everything they have been given. He also seems confused about the question – what else could a religion be? Could there even be another reason for religion? What else would be appropriate? We exist for the praise of God’s glory.
A little further on, St. Paul makes another important statement. God gave us the Holy Spirit as the first installment on our inheritance. That’s right. There is more to come. What we have already received from God through Baptism is just the tip of the iceberg.
Perhaps you have heard the story of the elderly woman who told her pastor that she wanted to be buried with a fork in her hand. When the pastor asked why, she replied, “At all the parish dinners that I attended, the waiters would clear away my dishes, but they also suggested that I should hang on to my fork because the best was yet to come.”
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator