I was going through some old journals and came across the following quotation. This is from August of 1993, and I do not remember the authors name. "If our lives are to be healthy, (here I would add the words - and holy), and our spirits are to grow, we must be dedicated to the truth. For the truth is reality. And the more clearly we see the realty of the world, the better equipped we are to deal with the world.”
The spiritual life ever and always calls us to live in the truth of who we really are. The truth of who we are comes to as we contemplate on the revelation of, The Truth. Each year we are given a whole season, which is dedicated to the reflection, and contemplation of the truth. This truth is both hidden and revealed, in our evolving reality. Since we are ever new, so then our reality, truth, will be ever new. There are no repeats, in our God's creation. Pretty exciting?? During this time when reality is “adventing”, we must prepare ourselves to honestly face this change, which leads to a newness. What is the new reality that has been or is being revealed in and through you reality? Where do we see a new presence, and in that presence, The Reality of God both hidden and revealed? Advent is an everyday experience.
The Truth has come, and continues to come anew, through grace. Mystery is experienced in the mystery of the present moment. When we hear it said "this is the same old stuff, there is nothing new" we are listening, not to the truth, but to a lie. In the lie there is no lasting creativity, death is it's destiny. Why? Because the lie is not connected to The Life Source. When we espouse such a way of living, we are being dealt death, rather than life. We likewise will become death-dealers, rather than be life-givers. We make that choice every moment of our lives, either consciously or unconsciously. As we embrace the reality of who we are, the truth of Who we are called to be, and Who has done this calling, The Mystery of the Incarnation, is once again revealed, anew for us to discover and be a place of discovery for others. For this Mystery to be discovered within we not only need the x-ray eye of faith, at times we will need an MRI.
Our willingness to be led into this new discovery takes courage. Yeats once said, “it takes reckless courage to journey into who we really are”. We must ask Mary for the courage to be able to say "YES” as she so bravely said yes. We are saying “yes” to the same God, who shepherded her through all her questioning and uncertainty. It was not always an easy journey being the Mother of The Savior. In being His mother, more was demanded than she could ever imagine or dream of. Yet, she persevered in her "yes". She is set ever before us as our model. Our "yes" will lead us, as it led her, to Calvary. On Calvary, she stood by the cross of her Son, in utter powerlessness. In the presence of her "standing by", she has gifted us with an eternal message, which becomes ever new for us. As she had to wait to give birth to her Son, Mary had to stand by and wait for her Son to die. She held Him in her arms both after birth and after death. So too, as our Mother, given to us on Calvary, is there to Mother us in our births and deaths. She will be present in the aftermaths as well.
How hard, difficult and pain-full these moments are. In these moments, we do not want to or need to be alone. We are in desperate need of some presence. In our Bethlehems and Calvarys. Our Mother Mary is present to assure us of the presence of Her Son. As she was with her Son, so is she present to, The Still Suffering Son within us. As she was so too, shall ever be. What great comfort there is awaiting us as we embrace that part of the reality. The gifts of The Mystery of The Incarnation from announcement to birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and the descent of The Life Giver, can never be exhausted. Why? Because we are dealing with the eternal. Our flesh provides a home for The Eternal. Advent provides us with new ways of not only discovering This Hidden Guest, it also provides us with ways to celebrate this inner reality. May these celebrations enhance your belief in your chosen-ness. In other words, deepen your belief in your essential goodness, in your beloved-ness. As there was a Herod out to destroy The Infant Child so we have to be on guard ever alert, not to allow present day Herods to denigrate , destroy, or question our essential goodness. That danger will come to us from not just our known enemies, Herod appears under the guise of "concerned" family and so-called friends. We have to conform to their narrow understanding of what is healthy, holy, while all the time missing out an understanding of The Birthing taking place in our deepest reality. “Religiosity is for those who are afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for those who have been to hell." (This is one of my very favorites.)
Mary, through all that she had to endure, was forced to come to a new way of living. She had to leave the security of her old life. With her "Yes" everything was radically changed. So too with us. Our "yes" will demand so much more than we are ready right now to commit to. Thank God we do not know the future. We are strengthened through the living of each moment to endure whatever life has to offer us. That old saying "God strengthens the back for the burden", I have found to be so true. We will NEVER be given more than God and we can handle. As Mary was prepared to become The Christ Bearer, so are we. As Mary was graced, so are we. As Mary was told by Gabriel, "She had found favor with God", so too, we must listen to the Angel Gabriels of our lives who reminds us that we too have been, are graced, always. Nothing can come between the love of God and us who so desperately need and desire that love.
Mary presented her Child to the shepherd outcasts, who came to visit Him. Later, as The Good Shepherd, He will seek out and search out the outcasts of His time. Where are we going to look within to find “the outcast" which is in need of a visit from The Shepherd Child? As a result of our encounter with The Shepherd Child, we will like the shepherds of old, have Good News to tell all those who will encounter us on our journey.
I hope these last few weeks have provided you with some material which will enable you to discover a new reality alive and dwelling deep within. Within that living reality will be discovered The Reality of The God of Light, Life and Love.