Saturday, November 17, 2012


Obsession is defined by the Free Dictionary as the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea - image - desire - feeling. Obsessions may be either healthy or unhealthy. A person who becomes crippled by an obsession - such as a fear of going out in public - would find themselves never leaving their home - as in agoraphobia. On the other hand - an obsession involving exercising every day would be seen as healthy - as long as that individual was able to function normally - merely including their exercise routine as a part of daily life. In this case the action might not truly be considered obsessive - since exercising daily would not occupy every minute in a day. If it did come to the point that exercising was all a person did or think about - then it would be unhealthy. A routine that is followed day in and day out - but does not occupy every moment of one's life would actually be considered religious.  To be religious means that a person is faithfully devoted to an ideal or action. It does not specifically have to do with the practice of or following a religion. A person who stops by Starbucks every morning for a morning coffee could be considered as being religious about their morning routine which involves coffee and Starbucks.
Attending Holy Mass every morning to start your day would be considered religious since your mind would be involved with other things during the day - it would dot your day and give you an excellent start to your day - but not mean that you were unable to do or think about anything else - if it did - it would stop being religious and instead become an obsession. Since learning about the Camino de Santiago de Compostela I have joked about it being an obsession of mine - however - it is not-  as I do not dwell or spend every minute of my day thinking about walking "The Way". I am very interested in the pilgrimage aspect of The Camino and find it intriguing and has become a goal to accomplish at some time in the future. At times obsession and being religious become intertwined - it is important for each of us that we keep our thoughts and actions in focus and in perspective so we do not confuse the two. God calls us to be focused about life - to live it actively and fully - to experience His presence in every waking moment of our lives - to be religious - not obsessive.

Deacon Dale