We are coming to end of yet another Liturgical year. Another year in which you and I were invited to deepen the connection between what is the experience of our everyday living, and what we celebrate in our liturgical celebrations. When there is no connection between the two, neither is there a connection between us and 'the celebration". Where there is no connection, then we have "liturgies without soul", and we leave without soul nourishment. I like to believe that all liturgy is a celebration of life. It is a celebration of a life that is fully human". In so far as it is fully human can the presence of the divinity be revealed. It is in the imitation of Him who became, The Human Being, can the divinity placed within us come to be revealed. This revelation is not just for our benefit it is given to be shared with all those who our God WLL place in our path. We do not become imitators overnight. There has to be much purgation, much illumination, so that the union of wills can take place. Our self will dies a very slow death. It's desire for power, and control does not die easily.
The ego does not wish to share moments of loss, disappointment, and weakness. Our egos drive us to look good on the outside, while we are going to hell on the inside. The lie is " you to look good, no matter what". Living that lie brings so much pain, death, and destruction to so many. The sad thing about it is, this lie is passed on from generation to generation. Perfectionism is a great cover up for " the lie”. Behind that desire to be perfect is the individual, or family secret which must be defended at all costs. The cost is many times the loss of knowledge of of who one really is. The soul is lost. There is no loving, creative spirit. The only power being tapped into is the destructive power of the lie. It takes a serious earthquake for the true person to emerge. Thank God for Twelve Step programs. In the safety of the fellowship the truth can be spoken. The real truth is spoken for the first time. In speaking the truth there is that immediate connection with THE TRUTH. This Truth is the power that will set us free. The toxicity of shame is now replaced with hope, and courage. Not only that but there is a gradual growth in faith in a Benevolent God who does care about individuals well being, as well as all of His creation.
All this was always present but it took that awe-full journey into the hell of powerlessness, for The Truth to be revealed. When the false image of who we are supposed to be, is replaced with the truth of who we really are a miracle takes place. It is the miracle of grace. As we begin to pray from this new place of honesty there is a certain something that is now present that was not there before. We are not to analyze or examine this new gift. It is a GIFT and is given for us to enjoy. So there will always be a great struggle. There will be an ongoing hostility between the real self, the one God's knows and listens to, and the false self whose prayer is not heard because does not know of its existence. That is why gut prayer, prayer from the depths is always heard. "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and from all their distress he rescues them.” As long as we are alive there will always be that war between the opposing wills. That war is waged on the battle field of our souls.
In our liturgy the ideal is revealed to us. As we look at this ideal, which is presented for our imitation, we have to admit we sure do come up short. We are not to be discouraged. As one wag put it; "We are all here, because ,we are not all there" Pretty good?? We always approach The Sacrifice, and Sacrament because we are accepting more and more the truth of the scriptures; "Of ourselves we can do nothing, but we can do all things in Him Who strengthens us". "With God all things are possible.” It is only in and through my weaknesses God's power is revealed. “Our weaknesses become our strengths, the source of compassion for others, and the basis of our awakened nature.” (Halifax)
I think that prayer from Lent is appropriate here; " May our faith hope and love , turn hatred to love, violence to peace, and death to eternal life”. Now The Kingdom of our God has a place to be revealed. In this milieu, “A Kingdom of truth and life, a Kingdom of holiness and grace, a Kingdom of justice peace and love becomes a reality”. Not through our strengths but only through our weaknesses. Is not This Kingdom an awe-full mystery? The acceptance of the reality of who you are, in all its messy truth, is the threshold over which we must cross so as to gain entrance into God's Kingdom.
“It is only through our weaknesses and brokenness, can we have an audience with a God of faithfulness and compassion." (Stuhmiller)