Music often pops into my prayer sometimes to surprising effect. This morning I found myself praying with a song by Built to Spill, an indie band of my college years, not really punk rock but certainly punk influenced. The song is Center of the Universe and the lyrics go like this:
“I don’t like this air, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop breathing it. Who doesn’t think they’re the center of the universe.”
I remembered I had made a prayer video to this song a few years back when I was in a similar spot of needing perspective beyond the immediate, a reminder of God’s faithfulness. In the video I quoted Gustavo Guttierez: “Hope does not come in a parachute, it has to be created.”
I am not the center of the universe, and neither are those around me. As Pope Francis so simply states in his new encyclical Laudato Si, “We are not God.” (par. 67)
But, as Pope Francis continues in paragraph 77: “God’s love is the fundamental moving force in all creating things. ‘For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it” (Wis 11:24). Every creature is thus the object of the Father’s tenderness who gives it is place in the world.”
We are not God. I am not the center of the universe. But I and we have been created by love, for love, in love. We are called to be co-creators of hope, breathing in the good and the bad transforming it by our very existence and presence and creativity and love.