I was reading recently an article that discussed the insistence of Ignatius that we give God reverence. The author was uncomfortable with how this might be lived out until he learnt that the correct translation of the term “reverence” from the Spanish was to include a happy consciousness of the divine and an awe suffused with love – which really sounds quite delightful!
Creation often draws wonder and awe, even from those who would claim to be atheistic, agnostic or non-spiritual. Such is its magnitude, complexity, beauty and ingenuity that few of us are left unmoved when immersed in it or when taught about its mysteries.
One of the capacities of the human brain that sets us apart from the “other” animals is our ability to wonder. You don’t expect to see a dog gazing at a sunset in longing, or a bird captivated by a mountain range. Clearly some part of our brain function has been set aside for wonder, and dare I say it, worship.
I know people who struggle with religion that prescribes worship of a Deity, regardless of one’s circumstances. I think they see it as servile and not in keeping with how a Deity would want their creation to relate to them. Or perhaps they feel uncomfortable with its expression, such as singing, dancing or other physical actions. And yet I wonder how many of them have a profound wonder for the Universe and everything in it, and delights to understand how it works. To me, that is very close to Ignatius’ reverence and not too far off worship as well.