Does God need our worship
What does "worship" mean?
Too often we equate praying with asking. It is easy to forget that worship is as important, if not more important, than petition. When we bow to God in freedom and awe of God, much of what is confused will be fixed and we will become sane.
God the great
The Holy Scriptures are entirely filled with God's greatness. She likes to talk about it in such a way that she lets the mightiness of the world be felt and then says: All of this is nothing before God. On its first pages is the mighty hymn of the creation of the world. Their realms unfold before our eyes, but each time they emerge from God's Word. You are through him; he himself is of himself. They are what he assigns them; He is the one and only. Nobody helps him with his work, he finds neither material nor plan for it; everything becomes through him alone. He is not only bigger than the world, but absolutely great, simply great, and it is something only through him and before him.
This size is free. The order falls effortlessly. God says: "Let there be!" - and everything will. This greatness is the origin of all order. Wherever it encounters the defiance of man, it becomes terrible and changes into the "wrath of God", of which the destructive forces of nature, such as thunderstorms, earthquakes, heat of the sun, storms on the sea are "warning" revelations (cf. Ps 75 or 96 ). Yet fear is wholly bound up with goodness, wisdom, even tenderness; God teaches the prophet Elijah in one hour, when it comes to the ultimate, that He is not "in the storm", nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but in a faint, gentle breath (cf. 1 Kings 19,11- 14).
But the real revelation of God's greatness lies in the doctrine of Providence. The frightening of omniscience, the inconceivable of omnipotence and the confusing of a wisdom mastering the incalculable threads of existence becomes pure love, and the all great becomes the father.
The man, the limited
Our human being comes up against barriers everywhere. We are of a certain size, have a measured property, and inhabit an area of life of a certain extent. Each of us has his own talents, which give him certain possibilities and at the same time draw corresponding boundaries. Again and again, in being, in having, in relationships to things and people, we make the experience: until then and no further. None of this is in God. He knows neither assignment nor restriction, but is the one who is and has everything, the all-encompassing and infinite. God's being is inexhaustible in beings, rises from unfathomable depths, rides into immeasurable vastness. All the heights of which we know are only hints of the heights of him.
Before this greatness man bows; not just to a certain extent; also not only very deeply or very willingly, but completely, finally, as a creature before the Creator, that is, he worships. Worship is the living fulfillment of the fact that God is simply "great", but man is just as simply "small"; that God exists through himself and in himself, but man exists through God and in God's power. Adoration says: "You are God; I am man. You are the true being, from yourself, essential and eternal; I am through you and before you. You have all the power of being, all the fullness of value, all majesty of the mind, you are master of yourself and you are blissfully satisfied. The meaning of my existence, on the other hand, comes to me through you; I live from your light and the dimensions of my existence are in you. "
In human existence, power and law, strength and value, reality and truth, being and worthiness, diverge to a large extent. This makes this existence so fluid and questionable. It encourages constant striving, but often also gives a feeling of deep futility. It is not so in God. Wherever man encounters God, he finds in his power also the right, in his greatness the worthiness. As much as God is in being, he is also in mind, life and deed. That is exactly what is expressed in worship. Man could not worship a God who was only omnipotent. He would be incapable of resisting it, would succumb to it immediately and hopelessly, but would have to refuse to worship it for the sake of the dignity of its own person. In this not only the body bends, but also the person with their freedom and that can only happen with dignity. That unity of being and meaning in God makes it possible - see the big picture in the Secret Revelation, where the twenty-four elders lay down their beads before Him who sits on the throne and, bowing, say: "Worthy are you, o Lord our God to receive praise and honor and power "(Revelation 4:11).
Worship is of the greatest importance not only for the religious but also for the spiritual life of man. For this it is as necessary as the order of space for the body, as light for perception, as the laws of thought for the spiritual life. Real human existence rests on truth; but the basis of all truth is that God is God, He alone; and that man is only man, God's creature. A person is healthy because he acknowledges this truth and takes it seriously. But adoration is the act in which this truth lights up again and again, is recognized and carried out.
This is how we must practice worship. Far too much we equate "pray" with asking. We should certainly ask, but not forget what the Lord says in the Sermon on the Mount: "Your Father knows what you need even before you ask him" (Mt 6: 8). Just as important, perhaps even more important than the request, is adoration, we easily forget that. So we have to practice it. Gather ourselves, in the gathering we make present the greatness of God, before this greatness we bow in awe and in the freedom of our heart. Then truth becomes in us, truth of life. The relationships of existence are put in order and the measures are set right. This truth will do us good. It will correct what has been confused by the confusion and deceit of life. We will be sane and able to start over.
Text source: Roman Guardini: Preschool of Prayer
All rights are held by the Catholic Academy of Bavaria
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