February 2003Why am I attracted to this thing and not to something else?

Hidden in a Small Moment  

     It was such a strange title for a book. Furthermore, I must admit that I was a bit reluctant to have other people see me reading it.   But like so many other things, events, that just seem to happen to us, frequently bring with them a gift and can be a small epiphany. So it was with The Universe is a Green Dragon .* My own thinking is that not everything in a book is meant for us. Sometimes, it seems like we are meant to read only one chapter, or maybe just a sentence or two in the midst of all the gray matter. The same could be said of a web-site reflection. Along this line, this little book, with its colorful cover, contained a chapter on attraction that became an attraction for me.*

     A person may ask: “Why am I attracted to this thing and not to something else?”   The truth is that we do not really know why we are attracted. We only know that we are, and that something has taken fire within us. Given a chance, gradually, we awaken to our own unique set of attractions. With this, our destiny unfolds. St. John of the Cross writes much on detachment. Following our God-given attractions is the other side of this story.

     Thomas Berry feels that by pursuing our attractions, we help bind the universe together.   The longed-for unity within ourselves, and in our world, rests on following these attractions.   In this following, more of life is evoked, and community comes into being. Something invisible becomes visible. Furthermore, we have the sense that we are bonded to God in a new way with a hidden bonding that has been wanting to show itself all along.   And, all of this happens by becoming aware of, and by following, one small, and seemingly insignificant, attraction in the context of “ordinary time.”

     Often, we long to see the face of God and to hear God’s voice.   In actuality, this may be occurring right in front of us.   It seems important, then, to quietly pause several times a day and to ask ourselves: What is my inclination and fascination at this moment?

     Finally, it should be noted that the awareness of one’s attraction generally brings with it a certain numinous and unexpected joy.   I have often seen this on people’s faces. Maybe life is not so difficult after all.

Brian Swimme. The Universe is a Green Dragon . Rochester, Vermont: Bear & Company, 2001, pp.43-52.

Sister Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D.

contents page