Sense of Sacred

Loss of Sense of the Sacred

Some of the social formalities of the past are now a dim memory. Our teachers and priests used to be greeted with a salute when we passed them in the street. Other adults we called “Sir” or “Ma’am” and we deferred to them. Similar courtesies were expected as good manners. Something of the kind survives in rural Nigeria where, as a mark of respect and sacredness for the Eucharist, people still fast at least one hour before mass. Now most of these formalities have gone, like the world of my childhood which valued them so highly.

“Revere the Lord in your hearts,” says Saint Peter. This reverence should reach out into all our other relationships, too. If, on the contrary, reverence for God is lost, nothing is truly sacred anymore. And, as a quiet warning to people engaged in religious debate, Peter urges us to make our arguments “with courtesy and respect,” qualities that are notably lacking in the discussion of political and social issues on our ubiquitous media. Reverence for God, and respect and courtesy for others are parts of the same virtue. Not all courteous persons are explicit followers of Jesus Christ, but neither is a discourteous person ever a true follower of his way.

Reviving our Sense of the Sacred

A sense of the sacred is a way to invite love, beauty, and meaning into our lives. We don’t need to discover meaning – we are the universe’s meaning-makers. Before any outward ritual acts or movements of the body, we observe sacred moments or places first within. The Holy Spirt helps us with that. Our understanding of the real dynamics of John 14 can help to remind us how vital the Holy Spirit is in our lives, and the sacredness in our practices. Jesus spoke these words into hurting, confused, and disoriented hearts. For us to avoid a similar hurt and confusion, we need the Spirit now as much as ever!

Jesus speaks about being still alive even after his death. Mostly we find Jesus to be alive for us in the love of others. There is an energy of love which is connected to the energy of God, for God is love. This is the working of the Spirit of God, alive in love, care, and compassion, and in all other good works. Love is evident in action and any activity can be tiring. I do not need to rely on my own resources, but turn to God who promises to help me, ready to send the Holy Spirit. Like a bargain-hunter or a bird-spotter, I train my heart to recognize the ways of God. In this time of quiet God teaches me to see my world differently; I do not act in it alone but am accompanied by God’s ever-present Spirit.

[Readings: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17; 1 Pt 3:15-18; Jn 14:15-21]

Fr. Nnaemeka Paschal Ajuka

Fr. Nnaemeka Paschal Ajuka, PhD., BCC., ACPE Certified Educator Candidate, is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia, Nigeria, and a Board-Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) and National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC). He is a retreat preacher who loves his faith. As a sociologist, he cherishes and operates from the vertical and horizontal relationships with God and neighbor. He takes Saint Francis of Assisi’s prayer for peace “Lord make me an Instrument of Peace,” as his ministry mission statement. He is a care provider who meets human needs without discrimination. He has been actively involved in the pastoral ministry in parishes in Nigeria and in the US. Previously, he was an adjunct lecturer at Seat of Wisdom Major Seminary Umuahia and the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria. Currently, he is a Certified Educator Candidate with the Department of Chaplaincy Services and Education, University of California Health, Davis, Sacramento.


  1. Livinus okamgba on June 5, 2023 at 7:17 pm

    It is good,food for taught.

  2. Jerry DEMELO Jr on May 14, 2023 at 11:47 am

    Great. If God I’d love a loss of God necessary leads to a loss of civility, courtesy and reverence.

Leave a Comment