Continuing on another aspect of what I wrote to You not long ago, I want to talk to You about the “cult of difference” among people. I remember many years ago going over selected primary materials on the sacraments with my second grade children at home. There was always great stress on the idea that each of us is different, unique in our own way, but equally loved by God. In every day life there is also much emphasis on being “different.” We seek things that set us apart and make us unique among others. Our dress, our interests, our pastimes, our tastes, our cars, our homes all reflect an urge to set ourselves apart.
The way I’m thinking about this right now is that this urge to be different actually ebbs at our flow toward You. Because of our wills we set our own limits and boundaries. God would not have it any other way. Our choices are important to God. Yet there is a clash between the choices we make based on our urges to be different and choices we make based on our sameness. But just what is that sameness? You answered that for me in the first reading at Mass recently from Acts: 17.Paul is preaching the “unknown God” to the Athenians. In his own words: “...He is not really far from any one of us. In Him we live and move and have our being.” This is the “sameness” I speak of! It is the core of our true selves apart from the differences sought by our false selves. In the spiritual life an awareness of our sameness is vastly more crucial than an awareness of our differences.