Most religious searches begin with one massive misperception. People tend to start by making a very unfortunate, yet understandable, division between the sacred and the profane worlds. Early stage religion focuses on identifying sacred places, sacred time, and seemingly sacred actions that then leave the overwhelming majority of life unsacred. People are told to look for God in certain special places and in particular events—usually, it seems, ones controlled by the clergy.
.. In Franciscan (and true Christian) mysticism, there is finally no distinction between sacred and profane. The whole universe and all events are sacred, serving as doorways to the divine for those who know how to see. In other words, everything that happens is potentially sacred if we allow it to be.
.. As the French friar Eloi Leclerc (1921-2016) beautifully paraphrased Francis, “If we knew how to adore, then nothing could truly disturb our peace. We would travel through the world with the tranquility of the great rivers. But only if we know how to adore.”
.. Once we can accept that God is in all situations, and that God can and will use even bad situations for good, then everything and everywhere becomes an occasion for good and an encounter with God.
God’s plan is so perfect that even sin, tragedy, and painful deaths are used to bring us to divine union, just as the cross was meant to reveal. God wisely makes the problem itself part of the solution. It is all a matter of learning how to see rightly, fully, and therefore truthfully.