Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Messy Family....Is A Holy Family, Right?

"One of the hardest things in life is to have words in your heart that you cannot utter." -J. E. Jones I think those words can sum up where we find ourselves, so often, during the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany Season. When we are present to all that is celebrated, we are pretty much find ourselves caught up in silent awe. Awe, wonder, is the beginning place of all prayer. Do we not find ourselves caught up in the celebrations in a way that stills us on the inside? In this "stilling of the insides", we become more aware of something that is greater. Something outside of ourselves which we intuitively know we are connected with. Are we are not drawn to listen more attentively and allow ourselves to be taken to new and exciting places? These places however we are unable to really describe. We have lost the language (Rohr). Does that mean we have to settle for less? By no means. That is why we have been given the works of the artists. To paraphrase Kenneth Branagh, "In the hands of a great poet, words and music have a way of affecting us in a way that we don't understand or be able to communicate”. We find ourselves in a state of "spiritual intoxication".

Hidden within these days and weeks is a spiritual tsunami. The True Spirit of these times is not 86 proof !!!. Whatever comes to us from the latter, passes. The gifts bestowed freely upon us by The Former, lasts forever. It is this reality, experienced by us in each and every moment is celebrated over an extended period of time.; The mystery of The Incarnation reveals to us who we really are in God's loving eternal design. Yes, we are eternal, and The Eternal has entered our humanity to be our model. We cannot solve This Mystery, all we can do is give reverence to it, and so be led each year into a new and more vibrant understanding. We only have this Season once in our lives so we must be vigilant for the ever new insights WILL come to us. God does not repeat Himself.

So, as we enter the process of wondering (aweing),reflection and contemplation, so many new layers of meaning will be revealed to us. The mystery of The Infinite, All Power-full One, coming to us disguised in the vulnerability of a baby,is like an artichoke. It has layer upon layer, and it takes a long time to get to the heart. Each layer, of the mystery, nourishes, enlightens, and challenges us. St. Paul tells us "the goodness and the humanity of God has appeared in our midst" – God, The Majestic One, The Omnipotent One, could so easily have chosen to send His Son into an environment of power, and prestige. He choose not to. Because, how will we who have no power and prestige relate to such a one. Consequently when we are chasing after the latter we are willing ourselves to be in a place where God chose not to be. Placing His Only beloved Son into the reality of where He entered this world has layer upon layer of meaning. Each year we are led deeper and deeper into this mystery, only in so far as we encounter, and own, our poverty, powerlessness, and vulnerability. Reflecting on our status and privilege, will avail us nothing. It will leave us anxious, fearful, and full of discontent. To be in those places is NOT part of God's dream, His Aisling, for us, His Beloved daughters/sons. It is of our own graceless choice. How often do we find ourselves choosing to be where God is not, and then wonder, where God is? This precious gift of free will, is definitely both a blessing and a curse.

God chose to send His Son to be part of a human family. A family of property, and prestige? No way. Would you not think that He who was able to order all of creation would do a better job of getting Mary and Joseph organized ? Why did He not wait for the wedding to take place? With the approach of the Angel Mary experienced fear, anxiety, and uncertainty? What was the struggles of Joseph as he was called to cooperate? I feel certain we can honestly say this was a real mess, from the human stand point. Yet it was into this messiness that that our Savior was sent. Why? So again, we have a God who knows messiness, is not put off by it, and weaves it all into the pattern of His redeeming will. The messier a family is, the closer our God is to that family. It is through the messiness, a messiness however that must be owned, that a Savior is experienced. In this way it is the messy family, that is the holy family. That is right, and to our way of thinking it makes no sense. It never has, nor will it ever be so. A sick family relies on their own power. They can handle all the challenges that life throws at them, alone and by themselves. (This is foundation of spiritual abuse.) That illusion has been shattered, as it has to be shattered them as a family, and for all of us, as individuals. With that shattering comes excruciating pain. This pain can last and will last, until the job is done. There is no ducking this shattering if we care or dare to become authentic human beings. That is our true destiny. This is the trail each one of us has to travel. There are no exceptions. T o become whom we are chosen to be, we are required to, in some cases forced, to accept that inner powerlessness. It is these moments of so called disaster, a Savior has been born to us. A living Savior is given to us. It is out of the darkness, the true Savior, appears.