Letters to Jesus (Church, Religion, and Sacraments)-8
The “liturgical life” may be a hiding place for people. It may be only a pantomime of the perfection they seek. Spiritual mediocrity may be the limit of its success. This is not an original thought. I read it somewhere, but, in rebuttal, I would hasten to add that a serious pursuit of a liturgical life is a serious pursuit of a life of prayer. However, the “church people” that a liturgical life sometimes connotes may indeed find comfort and security in such a life to the extent that it misses the more demanding point.
Liturgies are frameworks devised by the church for common prayer/worship. The liturgies or formats that attach themselves to the Mass and the conferring of the sacraments within the revolution of the liturgical calendar are a common bond for the people of God. The liturgical year is a kind of roadmap for the routes to follow in directing our prayer/worship over a common annual cycle. Within that cycle fall various celebrations to which we, in common, attach ourselves.
Liturgy by definition is “prescribed ritual.” There is something habitual about ritual; and things of habit so often become things without thought. Prescribed rituals can become a refuge from deeper spiritual growth. While liturgy may aid our connection with You, it can also become a barrier preventing us from going farther. It may become a hiding place – a hiding place where we seek the comfort and security of habit in a near-idolatrous manner.
As a people we are strongly inclined to make spiritual and religious means themselves into gods and we end up worshiping our worship while thinking that at this stage we’ve scaled the heights.
What we do spiritually tends to emanate from our everyday lives. If our lives are dedicated to seeking a status quo of comfort and security rooted in habits that we deem acceptable, then we have the precedent for our spiritual quest and we have found our hiding place.