Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Nothing is sacred!"

What is sacred? It's a question I seem to be asking myself a lot lately. As I work on my master's project, I am faced with the question of sacredness amid a crowd of academics, a scrutinous kind that dares to question all that is traditional, all that is constant, all that is sacred. "Nothing is sacred!" is the cry from academia. Nothing is just as it must be, for all can be interpreted, all can be changed for the better. But change for change's sake is nothing but a result of a self-indulgent, pompous attitude that declares, "I am above you, more intelligent than you, because I dare to question what you have come to accept so blindly." They have no faith in the common man, in the poor whom Jesus lovingly called "blessed." While the academics self-righteously cry out to protect the poor, to pity their underpriveleged lives and condemn any practice which has "forced" some to see a new way (such as missionary practices), they yet hold their noses in the air, claiming everyone has a right to believe what they want while assuming they, the academics, are too high for any common religion at all.

You see, they who claim to be working for the "layman" hold themselves as heroes, gods even, who need not meddle in the world of the commoner, for their intelligence is too high. They study the commoner as worth the good practice of economic research, yet hold themselves apart, like a biologist studying a colony of ants. They say, "This practice is highly sophisticated and is a part of their strong religious convictions. Their religion gives them purpose; who is to say it is wrong?" Yet they are above any sort of practice themselves. Their purpose, as a practitioner of indispensable research, is more important that any religious ritual. To them, their gift stems only from themselves, certainly not given by any God.

To be great requires a certain sense of humility, a realization that the gifts you have been given are avenues of great responsibility. To be great is to understand that you can do nothing on your own, that it requires the assistance of one God and many more laymen. To be great is to understand that everyone has a voice and to decipher those voices with the wisdom of one Truth. To question is a part of greatness, yes, but that questioning must have one goal in mind--to discover the truth, not merely to set yourself apart.

We cannot all be great in the world's definition, in the history books. Even in faith, it is clear that God sets some of us apart. But we can all recognize Truth if we truly search for it. And over the years, Truth has manifested itself in a variety of ways, often recognized by the most common man as he enters a cathedral, as he witnesses a sunset, as he stares out across a vast painted landscape, as he participates in the sacrament of God made Flesh. The common man can recognize Truth and Beauty that transcends the centuries. And that is sacred.

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