Thursday, March 31, 2005

When we do what we love, we are performing an act of worship.

Reflection or rote memory, singing or psalms; since humankind's first glance skyward, there has been as many forms of worships as there have been human beings. The human expression of worship seems to know no limit to its variety or personality.

For the longest time, I basically imagined "worship" to be very structured: memorized prayers and kneeling. The lower that one could kneel and bow, the better. It wasn't until I attended a personally-focused retreat (sponsored by the Jesuits at Marquette University) that I was exposed to a grander expression of worship by an unlikely 80-year-old Jesuit priest.

As my personal mentor through the semester-long retreat, this Jesuit priest was a gentle soul that posed powerful questions to me that took me so much further in my faith than I ever imagined. And it was one particular thought he shared with me that vividly remains with me today:

"When we do what we love, we are performing an act of worship."

Suddenly my understanding of worship and faith expanded to broadly envelope my entire life. To sing and dance and work and study and learn and love and laugh - all simple, but glorious expressions of worship. To not only kneel in reverence, but to stand joyfully and clasp my hands heavenward in honor. To have a successful career, to birth children into being, to be a good parent and sibling, to care for those around us (including Nature), to choose to be a loving person and caring neighbor, to act justly, to live honestly, ... all for the purpose of worship... worship and thanks to the Grand Designer who signatured our very unique life. What a grand gift to receive and to give.

I had read somewhere recently that "you do not choose your passion; it chooses you." And perhaps it is similar to worship - you do not choose the manner of your worship; it may very well choose you.

hoedl's haven
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