Holiness Is for the Hungry

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 11

He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.

–Luke 1:51-53 (ESV)

Oh, bread of angels! Heavenly manna! Gospel pearl! Sacrament of the present moment! You give us God under such menial forms as a manger, hay, and straw. And who is this God given to? To the hungry, as we are told, “He has filled the hungry with good things” (Luke 1:53). To those who are small, God reveals himself even in the smallest of things. But as for those who are great, and who care only about appearances, they cannot find him even in the greatest of things.

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

You may find that Luke 1:51-53 (a prophecy of Mary) applies to you in different ways at different times. One day you may think that you have something figured out, that you have come to understand the ways of God with some depth. Just then he will confound you, and scatter you thoughts. Yet the same God will come to you with comfort when you feel you are making no progress in the spiritual life. He will lift you up and remind you that it all comes from him, and that he is happy to give you the kingdom.

In both cases, God is not really bringing you down lower or raising you up higher, he is simply awakening you once again to reality. The highs and lows are illusions, the result of your failure to accurately judge your own spiritual life. How holy are you? How spiritual? How mature? These things are notoriously hard to determine, and the effort is a waste of time. What is easy to determine, however, is hunger. You always know how hungry you are, and this is true spiritually just as it is physically.

The sacrament of the present moment—the holiness of the here and now—is given to the hungry.

The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.