Special status is an illusion in which we take refuge when things are going well. We may even thank God because the storm missed us and hit the next peninsula. When things go badly—when we lose what we have enjoyed or fail to achieve what we have long worked and hoped for, or have the time of pleasure cut short—the special status feels as if it has been withdrawn. Even if it is just life and ever-changing circumstances that cause us to lose what we value—like health—we get a nagging feeling of being picked on. We feel angry at something (a Santa Claus God or the government). We feel we have lost status through illness or even when undergoing tests. There is a sense of superiority that the healthy and happy can hardly help feeling toward the sick and those whom life seems to have treated badly. Yet this sense of being separated and marginalized by fate has a grace. Jesus said he came for the sick, not the healthy. He dined with sinners, not church leaders. So who’s “special”?
—from the book Sensing God: Learning to Meditate during Lent by Laurence Freeman, OSB