We have to take into account the sad reality that we do not always live like that. And Ratzinger pin points, I think, exactly what goes on in our hearts and minds when we allow our desire for God to grow cold and our longing for the kingdom to become a remote abstract notion.
It’s all these other powers and principalities, so to speak, who seem to be offering us a better deal, I guess. At least we sure are in a hurry to take the offer! It’s like all those shady operators who offer suspiciously good discounts and payment schedules and interest rates (No payments due for the first twelve months! No interest charged! Absolutely free!).
Well, we bite on that. And of course, besides the carrot of easy money and immediate returns on investment, there is the stick of coercion—social coercion and ostracization, ‘going along to get along’—all the ways the world uses to enforce whatever rigid orthodoxy the powers that be decide we should subscribe to today.
All of these things, if we let them have sway over us, are the immediate powers that can drown out the voice of God in us and quench the desire of God in us.
The ancient Gnostics posited a universe where God was ‘up there’ somewhere in the highest heavens, but separated from us by layers upon layers of hostile archons ringed around the earth. Liberation consisted of getting past these encircling archons by obtaining secret esoteric knowledge, so as to attain union with the One.
There is a thread of truth in this Gnostic cosmology. We do experience that ‘all that stuff’ gets between us and God, that the lure of riches and the fear of humiliation, rejection, persecution can pose a formidable barrier between God and us. And many seem to allow their lives to be ruled by the ‘archons’ of this present age.
Yes... I do... too often...and I kick myself for days afterward, wondering how I might've acted differently, spoken up, done this or said that.
The world needs the counter-cultural to bravely fight this drowning out of God's voice, to battle a culture that sets the quenching and thirst for God aside for the quenching and thirst for that which might satisfy in the moment but never for long.
Lord, why can't I be one of the counter-cultural at all times? Why can't I have the courage to be who You desire me to be and not who others think I ought to be?
Have Mercy Lord.
Mother Mary, pray for me.