“Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face!
They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete.
We’re free of it! All of us!
Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face.
And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.”
(2nd Corinthians 3: 16-18, MSG)
Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister, in her book “The Liturgical Year: The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life,” writes:
“In this period of time, the Christian community has witnessed the Resurrection, The Ascension, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Mary and the apostles. It was a time of great loss and great sorrow, of great demoralization and even greater confirmation and certainty, of Jesus with them still — but differently.
It was a period that bridged time and timelessness, the natural life and the supernatural life, the material and the spiritual in one comprehensive and sweeping cycle of the Christian life.
Nothing else compares to Paschaltide for bringing the whole Christian calendar to one hot point of experience. Yes, the Advent waiting had been a glimpse of what it means to believe in the return. Yes, Christmas locked the human and the divine into the human psyche and soul as one. Yes, Lent brought us to our knees in the face of the awesome idea that the divine had reached down to us so that we might reach back. But only here in this time, between the bursting open of the tomb and, fifty days later, the overflowing of the Holy Spirit, does the full awareness of what it is to live in Christ, with Christ, and through Christ finally dawn.
Indeed, these first Christians were the first citizens of the new creation. Now began the breaking open of the future. Now the human community sees life lived as it is meant to be. Now creation is re-created.”
Further along she writes: “A shaft of light has come to pierce the uncertainties of the seeking. We are living now with a torch in our hands, however dark the darkness.”
“For the early Christians — and for us now — it is a matter only of allowing the Spirit to transform us so that our life and the life of Christ do finally merge, do really melt into one another, do truly become one, are united both here and hereafter.“
And finally: “It is a time of unbounded assurance and a sense of limitless liberation. It is hope and faith and trust all bound into one in us. It is the fifty great days of illumination meant to carry us across the darkness of life’s divides.”
Oh, how Sister Joan’s words comfort me, encourage me, light a fire in me. I so want to experience and be part of, all of “this.” I want to soar like the Spirit; not simply fly. I want to make a difference, however small or unseen. I want to infuse the world with color, life, hope, truth and light. Then I realize I already am. We, already are. All of us. Together. However dark the darkness.
I lift my torch with yours!
May we allow ourselves to be continually transformed.
photography/ design: ©️ oraetdecora 2021
book excerpts: ©️ Joan Chittister, from “The Liturgical Year“