December 8, 2008

The Second Week of Advent

Let us gaze on John the Baptist. Challenging and active he stands before us, a "type" of the manly vocation. In harsh terms he demands metanoia, a radical transformation of attitudes. Those who would be Christians must be "transformed" ever again. Our natural disposition, indeed, finds us always ready to assert ourselves to pay like with like, to put ourselves at the center. Those who want to find God need, again and again, that inner conversion, that new direction. And this applies also to the total outlook on life. Day by day we encounter the world of visible things. It assaults us through bill-boards, broadcasts, traffic, and all the activities of daily life, to such an enormous extent that we are tempted to assume there is nothing else but this.
Yet the truth is that what is invisible is greater and much more valuable than anything visible. One single soul, in Pascal's beautiful words, is worth more than the entire visible universe. But in order to have a living awarness of this, we need conversion, we need to turn around inside, as it were, to overcome the illusion of what is visible, and to develop the feeling, the ears and the eyes, for what is invisible. This has to be more important than anything that bombards us day after day with such exaggerated urgency.
Metanoeite: change your attitude, so that God may dwell in you and, through you, in the world. John himself was not spared this painful process of change, of turning around.
~ Benedictus: Day by Day with Pope Benedict XVI

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