I want to remind us that KNOWING what and why we are doing is helpful, but not necessarily the most important aspect of what we doing. DOING is more important than KNOWING. Think of how many things you know (like eating healthy or exercising) that do NOT impact your life. It is when we ACT that things get HABITUATED in us--they capture us.
For the past several weeks I've been exercising every day and this morning was the first time I felt my body longing for it. Something is changing in me and goes beyond my head. This is true for the Office too. I've been doing this for years and I find my soul leaning into doing it without thinking of why or what I am exactly doing. It's more habit that I careen towards almost without thought. Think of the words of James 1:22, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."
James KA Smith claims it is what is HABITUATED that actually transforms us. I think it is as important to trust the process as to want to learn why. I'm not suggesting that LEARNING is not important--it is. And it helps to motivate us to become habituated, but that being said...let's simply do...it will pay off!
Interestingly, philosophically the modern age has reduced our anthropology to us being THINKING BEINGS primarily (Cartesian epistemology)--or as Smith says, "Brains on a stick". This pervades the way we approach our spirituality in the West--we think if we get it down in our heads, we'll have it down. But that is far from the truth. And I think this is WHY people who are going through rough patches in life (where nothing makes sense to their brains on a stick) are so captured by liturgy and Eucharist...it isn't something that has to be understood (mystery) and yet is seems to capture them in a formative, strengthening way. I'm convinced this is the magic in the sauce for a 21st century community to face our helter-skelter world...this informed but HABITUATED spirituality.