Gillick, Larry, S.J.
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I was eating an orange the other day, at least it looked like, felt like, smelled like an orange. I got to pondering whether the way an orange tasted to me would be the same as it tasted to the others at the breakfast table. I didn't dare float the thought out into the morningsphere. Almost every orange I ever had tasted the same, though the skins have various textures and the thickness of the peels do differ. There is no way to know exactly how things taste to you as compared to my taster.There is the old Latin statement, "De gustibus non disputandum"; about taste there is no arguing. You like it rare and I like it a little bump on the other side of medium. So which is better? Want to argue about that? I think there was a time, years ago, when I would have eaten eggs. Now I don't except chocolate ones at Easter. I can still remember the time I put too much pepper and salt in the cup with a cooked egg and I was forced to eat it; so that's why!I was surprised to find out during my studies in Toronto, that Canadians shake vinegar on their french fries. I couldn't believe that. I guess Canadians have strange tastes; I don't think they like American fries either. We have simple phrases like, "I can't stomach that" or "That is hard to swallow." So you like vinegar and I like catsup on my fries, it all just does depend on your receptors. What's the big deal about caviar, some pay big bucks for a little bit of the terrible-tasting muck. I thought I ought to, was supposed to, should like that. I just didn't no matter who was watching or suggesting.What we call good is good, but perhaps to me alone. God reverences my likes and dislikes. Should I, am I supposed to, ought I pray this way or that, kneeling, standing, running, swimming, gazing, listening? Yes, Yes, Yes, if we reverence our personal way of being fed, even with vinegar. There are no supposed-tos in our intimacies with the Reverencing God. This mysterious Baker-of-Life knows how things taste to us and just what is hard to swallow. Daily Bread is handed out to each according to what the Baker wishes us to have, but we have to be equally attentive to just how we need to be waited upon. It is just a glimpse, so chew on that for a while.