What does it take to awaken awe and wonder of the Lord? What keeps you from running to all the petty little idols surrounding us that promise so much, but rob you of your eternal inheritance?
The Lord is king, let the earth rejoice, let all the coastlands be glad. Cloud and darkness are his raiment; his throne, justice and right. A fire prepares his path; it burns up his foes on every side. His lightnings light up the world, the earth trembles at the sight. The mountains melt like wax before the Lord of all the earth. The skies proclaim his justice; all peoples see his glory. Let those who serve idols be ashamed, those who boast of their worthless gods. All you spirits worship him. Psalm 97:1-7
That is part of Psalm 97 and according to my Divine Office app this psalm foretells of worldwide salvation; that all nations will, one day, believe in Christ. One of the things that I love about praying the Divine Office is how the readings help to stir up wonder and awe. Even when my personal prayer is dry, the Psalms that are prayed in the Office always lift up my heart with wonder, if even for just a moment. I cannot ponder them enough.
As our contemporary culture continues to embrace materialistic philosophical views of the world, I love being reminded, “the earth rejoices and the coastlands are glad.” I love how the phrase: ‘cloud and darkness are his raiment ‘increases my wonder for the mystery that is Our Lord. It both establishes God’s absolute authority over all, and reveals how those shabby, materialistic philosophies are blind to the great transcendent dignity of man. Because in each of us is the divine image.
To reduce our humanity to biological chance goes against everything that we are naturally oriented to. The ancient pagans were much wiser than we are in our present technologically advanced age when they saw divinity in the sun, the moon and the stars. They may have missed the mark in their worship, but our lot in life -- with everything around us reduced to only what can be quantified and measured -- is so much more demeaning to our true nature. We are no less blood thirsty than those who sacrificed humans on altars to false gods; we sacrifice our children in abortion for comparatively petty comforts for heavens sake!
In the movie The 13th Day , which tells of the appearance of Mary to three children in Fatima, Portugal, there is a scene near the end in which the sun appears to be falling down upon the earth and all the people gathered at the site to witness the promised miracle are screaming and running for their lives. Where are they running to if the sun is falling from the heavens? But an elderly woman, who seemed angrily doubtful just before the beginning of the apparition, fell to her knees exclaiming “God, how great is your power!” It sends chills down my spine and brings tears to my eyes. The power, the might, the gentleness, the love. The cosmos rejoices, and we simply acknowledge Him and wonder!
It is fitting that this revelation was brought by Mary, whose humility enabled her to be the Theotokus: God bearer. She has no power to save herself, she receives His power. God has created us to receive His power, we must begin to have an inkling of the magnitude of that gift, and the humility to empty ourselves of vain, materialistic idols -- especially the idol of self, for we cannot save ourselves from destruction and futility anymore than we can outrun a falling sun -- so that we can be awakened to His mighty presence and allow His image to re-create us. That is your inheritance.