Saturday, May 15, 2010

Truth and Beauty...

Eternal Father, reaching from end to end of the universe, and ordering all things with your mighty arm: for you, time is the unfolding of truth that already is, the unveiling of beauty that is yet to be........(may the presence of you Son) among us lead to the vision of unlimited truth and unfold the beauty of your love. We ask this............

This is the opening prayer of The Seventh Sunday, after Easter. What great timing? These last few of weeks we have celebrated Good Shepherd Sunday, Mothers Day. We also have had a number where we encountered the Risen Christ preparing His disciples for His, going away, and return to the Father. Over the weeks we were able to reflect on the "farewell address' of Christ. When we are in a state, or stage, of fear, returning again and again to those chapters of John's Gospel is a great source of reassurance and hope. Christ is leaving. He then says something very mysterious, " it is good that I go". Weird. Why is it good that you leave, the disciples could ask? You were out of our lives for three days and we did not do so well? Now you are going to really leave us, and this is supposed to be good, makes no sense, we are going to be lost.

It is here we encounter the care and concern of The Good Shepherd, revealing in His words the quality of a good mother, who happens to be, our God. He reassures the frightened, and concerned disciples, He will not abandon them or leave them orphans. He will leave only to make way for a still greater gift, The Spirit, The Advocate, will be sent, not to be present to them, this Spirit is going to be WITHIN them. This coming will complete the three presence of God. In the Old Testament, he was the God “for”. In the New Testament, He is the God “with”. Now He is coming to be the God “within”. We always need to keep those realities, those presences of our Gods before us, or we too can not only get caught up in the same feelings of being lost, left behind and abandoned. That is not just any truth, it is the beauty of our real truth. This beauty, as the prayer says is gradually, and oh, oh, so gradually unfolding, within us. This unfolding is the work of the same creative Spirit that brought order to the original chaos, and raised Jesus from the dead. We have a great power that exists in us, through us, and always for others. As Jesus Christ came, not for Himself, but for others, we who now carry on that same ministry in His name, must always keep this truth before ourselves. What is that truth? It is not our ministry, or message, it is what has been given to us, to be given away, freely. That is why we are given the Spirit of truth, to keep us in God's truth, not just our small, narrow interpretation of infinite truth. Truth, and Beauty, of necessity go together, because each is used to reveal who our God is. So, embrace that mysterious beauty, within you, today. Do not give in to the Advocates archenemy, the prosecuting attorney, Satan. Live your truth which tells to you are the beloved of the Gracious, kind, and ever watchful Good Shepherd. When the time comes, and it does come, again and again, keep the following words of Karl Rahner ever before you. I have used them so often I now can recite them from memory.

I am the blind alleys of all your paths, for when you no longer know how to go any farther, then you have reached me, foolish child, though you are not aware of it. I am in your anxiety; for I have shared it by suffering it. And in doing so, I wasn't even heroic according to the wisdom of the world. I am in the prison of your finiteness, for my love has made me your prisoner. When the totals of your plans and of your life's experiences do not balance out evenly; I am the unsolved remainder. And I know that this remainder, which makes you so frantic, is in reality my love, that you do not understand.

I am present in your needs. I have suffered them and they are now transformed but not obliterated from my heart. . . . This reality--incomprehensible wonder of my almighty love - I have sheltered safely in the cold stable of your world. I am there. I no longer go away from this world, even if you do not see me now; . . . I am there.