Everyone Worships Something

As you may have noticed, a lot of people dismiss faith in, and ritual worship of, any sort of deity as something for the simple-minded.  A common mindset holds that the truly educated and evolved “liberate” themselves from the shackles of religious devotion and place their trust in things more concrete and absolute (i.e. material), OR, more likely, these people reason that nothing is absolute, and so they resolve to have faith in the one thing they know is certain: that nothing is certain (it’s supposed to be ironic and deep, I guess).

But truthfully, when it comes right down to it:

Everyone.  Worships.  Something.

There’s no escaping this fact.  Even self-professed atheists make gods of something (if not many things) in their lives.  And it’s almost inevitable that a sort of religious system or habit develops around whatever it is that we make a “god” within the structure of our life.  Whether it’s our physical fitness, our job, a relationship (or the idea of a relationship), or anything else that we become devoted to throughout life.  It’s human nature.  We like structure, and our structure tends towards what it is that we value most.

Of course, it’s not just people without a professed religion or faith who make “gods” of things other than the God of the Bible.  Certainly even us Christians can be guilty this.  What’s the first thing on our mind when we wake up in the morning and the last thing we think of before falling asleep?  To what (or Whom) does our heart truly belong?  These things are what we worship, despite what it may say on our Facebook profile.

The bottom line is that it’s an inescapable part of our nature: this yearning for something beyond ourselves, a yearning—ultimately— for the divine.  This is why it’s so tragic when we, as human beings—not simply as Christians, settle for worship of lesser goods, especially in the name of “liberation”.

“Any liberation of man which does not enable him to become divine betrays man, betrays his boundless yearning.” –Pope Benedict XVI*

We’re created for something beyond ourselves.  We’re created for the divine.  And deep down, we all know it.

(*no, this does not mean we’ll all become gods who are worshiped like God the Father is worshiped, but that we will become sharers in the divinity of Christ: the “Son of God [who] became man so that the sons of men could become sons of God – Saint Athanasius)

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