29 September 2010

"Take Comfort in Ritual"

I snuck in a run before class today.  Ran through JP to the pond and then along Jamaica Way and through the Fens.  Turned onto Brookline and ran down to Fenway Park, turned around came back.  A cool eight miles. 

A Starbucks window on the route caught my eye.  "Take Comfort in the Ritual" said its front door.  That got me to thinking and reflecting on the way back to the friary.  Obviously, the great people at Starbucks are referring to a particular ritual of drinking coffee of a certain type and in a certain environment.  Such familiarity, I would imagine goes their ad-pitch, brings comfort in a world of burgeoning edginess and uneasiness.

Yet, is the ritual of coffee really all that we need to bring us comfort and solace?  Will an overpriced (and sometimes watery) cup of Java from the same Starbucks store comfort us.  Are we willing to settle for this type of comfort?

I can't help but believe that as Catholics we have a ritual (or rituals, more accurately) that don't merely comfort us in a temporal sense, but comfort us in a deeper sense.  Our rituals, by their very reality, satiate our teleological appetites.  In other words, we can find no lasting comfort in any entity other than God.  Our rituals of prayer and sacrament seem to have a dual purpose.  They both bring us comfort and solace, while at the same time, when we really reflect upon them, they make us uncomfortable and put us on edge.  

To contemplate that paradox, however, I'm going to need a cup of coffee.


walterbayliss said...

Thanks for the post - Liked it!
I hit the RSS update to get more when it comes.
BTW - did you know, you can get hundreds (even thousands) of Subscribers instantly (And also update straight here to Blogger?
Walt Bayliss
CEO and Founder

Faith said...

Our souls are restless until they rest in God--St. Augustine

Very clever of Starbucks to latch onto that idea.

Try Dunkin Donuts, it's divine.