Friday, April 19, 2013
According to Chronos time, Holy Week has passed. The Resurrection has been celebrated. So we can say, "all of this is now in the past, and we are moving on". Or are we? Are we really moving on and leaving all that "stuff" behind us? Kairos time tells otherwise, and thank God for that. Otherwise, we would be setting ourselves up for real trouble. We would have lives filled with fear, anger and despair, with no help in sight. Kairos time offers us the gift of eternal hope. Kairos time, that is God's time, allows us to see that which we have celebrated is present today. The Paschal Mystery is being encountered in each and every moment of our human experience. The human experience we as spiritual beings are immersed in. So that which has been celebrated is being lived out right here, in the here and now. This is what I like to call "the beyond time" of The Paschal Mystery. We are always living in the "beyond time" of some encounter with The Sacred. So in this "beyond time", we are challenged to become more and more aware of The Paschal Mysteries that is ever and always present, and being encountered, in the sacramental now moment. We also refer to this sacred time as, the here and now. Because of this reality we become more and more immersed in this season's great Mystery. We will never, in this life, gain the full understanding of any of The Supernatural Mysteries of our faith. We enter, or need I say, are drawn into, an ever deeper immersion into that which is beyond our full understanding. Full understanding will never be ours in this life as mystery can never be exhausted. Mystery can only be reverenced and celebrated. As we approach, with a sense of deep reverence, we are drawn by grace, into the depths the mystery. Through grace we will be gifted with the following realization, that which we are celebrating is within the depths of who we are. We are being continuously "dipped and dyed" into this awakening reality, that which I am celebrating in the Liturgy, is being lived within. The journey into The Mystery, is a life long journey. It is the only one worth taking. In each stage, in each season, of life's journey we are offered a new, and different understanding of that wonder-full, Paschal Mystery. This is the Mystery we have been baptized into. In this Sacrament (big S) we have been called, chosen, and consecrated to be the beloved daughter/son of our passionate, living and loving Father-God. We are ever and always the object of this infinite, unconditioned, unlimited and unrestricted Love. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can come between us and that love. We are to be reminded that it is NOT that I love God, but that through the Spirit we were first loved. It is not that I give love, but that I accept love. A love that has already mine from eternity. Love is my Origin, and my Destiny. This love cannot be earned nor deserved, just simple accepted. Are not the simplest of thing the hardest to do? The same here. No amount or effort on our part, can make this loving possible. It is always free. All we have to say is "YES", and leave it at that. In this "Yes" there is the wonder-full transformation, and transfiguration happening secretly in the depths of who we are. Only on very rare occasions is this reality revealed to us. This is The Spirit's call, not ours. Fr. Rohr warns us, "We are not to put a thermometer in the soul". There then is an eternal newness happening within us. This is the fulfillment of the scriptures "behold I make all things new", "do you not see ?". The scripture says I make all things new, I am not making new things. So there is this constant renewal process within you and I. I sometimes wish this whole thing was over in a minute, but would I be ready for the shock? This very impatient Irishman must be constantly reminded of this salient fact, God's ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts!!!! I find the daily struggle to believe who I am in passionate, life giving, always creative love a real tough slog. It is so easy to get side tracked. Our human experience, and our interaction with others living out of that same reality is a great challenge. John O'Donoghue in his book "Anam Cara" makes a great connection with the way others see us, and the way we see ourselves. Maybe I do this too often, but here I go again. When it comes to the healthy vision necessary for a healthy spirituality, and hence for healthy living, the words of Robbie Burns always come to mind. He wrote "Would that God the gift to give me to see myself as others see me". That is a prayer I would ever want to be answered. This prayer, however, is a constant desire, "Would that God the gift to give me, to see myself as God sees me". For that desire to be fulfilled there is serious hard work to be done. Joe can so easily say "I am not what others say I am, I am not what others see me as "but the acceptance of that truth is not an easy task. Here are some of the "eyes" through which we and others see our reality. First there is the Fear-full eye, to this eye everything and everyone is perceived as a threat. There is the threat of danger, of serious damage, and of loss around every corner. This is the life that is lived without the faith grounded in the Paschal Mystery. This is faith-less life and life-less. Yes every day we encounter danger death, and destruction. What we are experiencing right now is man's inhumanity towards his fellow man, and woman. Yes there are losses. There is death. There is pain. There is confusion. These are not end moments. These are "the beyond moments" where the ever deepening, life transforming mystery of The Paschal Mystery is continuously being revealed. We must always keep before us the eternal truth of The Paschal Mystery: death, pain, confusion, destruction are steps on the way to a new way of seeing, believing, and acting. These are not intended by God, but are used to lead us ever deeper into the following of His Beloved Son. We are then called to walk though our fears into a more intimate and trusting relationship with or Shepherd-God. There is no real intimacy in any relationship as long as fear is in control. We all have to pass through a raw naked fear, on our journey into intimacy with The One who is waiting for us at the end of this fear-full step. Merton's great prayer is such a comfort, "God I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead, nor do I really know myself...." (the rest is on Google). Fear and faith we will always be in one or the other, the choice is ours, every moment. (Over the next few blogs the other eyes will be looked at, i.e. the greedy eye, the judgmental eye, the resentful eye, the indifferent eye, the inferior eye. These eyes we see through, and are seen through on the way to the essential acceptance of who we are in the eyes of Love.