Saturday, June 9, 2012

Liturgy...IS WORK....OUR WORK

We have been exposed to a spiritual tsunami over these last many, many, months. Come to think of it, they were not months, they were seasons. In those seasons, we celebrated the mystery of beginnings and endings. We found ourselves, as individuals, families and communities, blessed with new lenses. In this new "seeing", we are led to the acceptance that in every beginning, an ending that has begun and in every ending there is a new beginning that has begun to emerge. So, we are lead to see life is the continuous embrace of life, and, of death. We are in a constant state of “passing over”. In each and every present moment, there is a passing over from life to death, and death to life. All this happens within the great mysterious adventure we call human living. Our God has shown His desire to be with us on this journey. In doing, so He has transformed it into a mysterious adventure. In the fulfillment of this desire, He became Emmanuel. He, rather than be a distant spectator, is now totally and completely immersed into the reality we call the human condition. As a result, we are presented with and challenged to embrace the mystery of The Incarnation. In the continuous,f aith-filled, Spirit led, contemplation of this mystery wonder-full, awe-full, spiritual riches continuously flow into our hearts, souls, minds. This tsunami of grace brings about transformation, and transfiguration. A new reality takes root within the depths of who we really are. The spiritual journey is our descent into what we most fear and abhor. We are seeking life, a life that only comes to us through many ,many, deaths. In this searching and seeking, we are lead ever deeper into what we know is The Paschal Mystery. We seem to begin with the nonthreatening Baby Jesus and are forced to encounter Him, all grown up, as The Crucified One. We must continue to embrace both realities of our God within us. As a consequence, a new reality takes root within us. That which we have been Baptized into, The Paschal Mystery, is now being lived, revealed and seen within our everyday reality. We are led to believe the truth of St. Paul’s words; "I live, no, not I, but Christ lives within me". What God promised Ezekiel is now ours. We will discover a new heart within us. The old stony heart has been replaced. With this new heart came a new Spirit. When did all of this happen? Without our knowing or sensing it. Without knowing or sensing it, paschal death, and resurrection, happened and continues to happen. The creative work of The Spirit is always in secret. As it was, so it is, and ever shall be forever, and ever, amen. This death/resurrection process happens in the depths of who we are. In order to enliven, vivify, intensify this new life, and new way of living it is ESSENTIAL we bring that reality to each and every mass we are blessed to celebrate. Nothing happens apart from prayer. In this we make the connection between The Paschal Mystery, we encounter within the reality of our everyday experience, and it's celebration within the weekday and weekly liturgy. This does not happen automatically. It demands effort on our part. This is work. This is hard and at times, very difficult work. It is so much easier to be deny our deep, everyday, pain-filled reality. We want to gloss over the difficult and spiritually unsettling feelings and emotions. We are reminded of the warning of Fr. Rohr, "Whatever we do not feel, cannot be healed...Whatever is not transformed, is transferred". How often have we seen and experienced this pain-full reality? It does takes raw naked faith and deep courage to bring ourselves as we really are into The Presence. We must ever and always keep before us this reality we want to deny, is the only reality God knows. That is where He meets us and waits for us to greet Him there. Yes, He waits for us to welcome into the place we are at. When we are NOT honestly present , to His presence, nothing CAN happen. Maybe that is why liturgy is properly called, "THE WORK OF THE PEOPLE".