Forgiving and being forgiven – great Lenten traditions, call us to both gratitude and remorse before our merciful Savior. Such lavish mercy moves our hearts to seek forgiveness and to never tire of forgiving – even seventy-seven times.
The Transfiguration story is the story of our own journey into the nature we were created to explore and inhabit. Into what the Eastern Church calls our deification. It is not a quiet uneventful journey. We who are to be melded into the divine and human life of the eternal Son must share in the contradiction, pain, and abandonment that He is about to claim as His own.
The question that we must ask ourselves is: “Have we become so accustomed to the incomprehensible reality of our destiny that we pass numb and accepting through this season of Lent, unmoved and perhaps even resentful?” “Where is God?” we ask. Where is the tender and all-consuming compassion of God, for His creation?
We continue to seek after the answer to the existential question of suffering. I remember an essay by Bede Jarrett, in which he warns the reader that what he says is extravagant and semi-heretical, and still he says that our suffering is the mirror or manifestation of something within God; that in God, in the depths of the mystery of the Divine, is an extravagance of love that can only be expressed in pain.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” God sacrificed His only Son, for our redemption, in order that we might share, in the Heavenly Glory of the most Blessed Trinity. Is pain the flip side of that love, the inmost habitation of the eternal desire, the urgent luminescence of that mountain encounter – the mount of glory and the mount of crucifixion?
Hear our prayer, O Lord: bless, protect and sanctify all those who bow their heads before You.
Blessings to all. M +