In the bitter diatribes of politics and activism, in the allegations about sexual harassment in workplaces, and the gut-wrenching stories of violence and assault, there is an underlying sense of betrayal, a fear of more of the same and a question. It is the question that seems to lie beneath all the horror. What is it that can be agreed upon? What is it that is held in common? Is there something, anything, that can be seen as both shared and sacred, some thing that transcends and unifies?
Perhaps, a people, that cannot be discovered until we realize the very sacredness of self, of life, of the colors laced across an evening sky or the cool Autumn breeze of morning, of a baby stretching to a parent or a nurse cradling the hand of a dying patient. Because beneath the differences that are so easily defined, there is a fundamental sameness in the reality of humanity. Perhaps, to begin to see the sacred, it is important to realize it within ourselves, to take that moment’s pause, the breath that reminds this is a new and precious space that will be what can be made of it. Perhaps it is time to recall that it is impossible to control what is happening, but it is possible to control and mediate reactions. Perhaps it is time to realize that each of us is always contributing to the world in some way or another, and making conscious and careful choices can be a gift to the whole.
Catholicism reminds me of all that, that life matters: that each life matters and is intertwined and affects the other. Sacred, then, is something found within somehow, and shared in the reality of daily decisions.