Jesus assures us, "I am the way and the truth and the life." In other words, “I am the way that leads through darkness and confusion, obscurity and doubt; through seeming absence to a richer, darker, mysterious presence.” He draws us higher to the place that he is preparing for us, the place of our belovedness. Jesus clearly understands himself as the Beloved of his Father. (How else could he have made it through the horror of his passion?) And he envisions the same identity for us, and says that where he is, there will we be- hidden in the bosom of the Father. “I will come back again and take you to myself,” he says, “so that where I am you also may be.” For all our lack of understanding, certainly these words of Jesus are tremendously consoling. “I will take you to myself.” Where else would any of us want to be?
And so we continue to hold fast to his promise, for only love and surrender to him can quiet our questioning. Jesus is taking us to himself. And as we hold fast to him in faith, all is still deep, dark mystery. As monks this where we live- in this land of desire, somehow suspended between heaven and earth, getting glimpses of heavenly communion, visits of the Word, noticing his kind and loving presence but more often left hanging, because our desire often outstrips our understanding. We’re left suspended, longing for more, but often losing our way. This is where we live, in this in-between place, poised in faith between a promised heavenly homeland and our present earthly existence; puzzled and sometimes impatient because earthly existence even for all its ambiguities is at least tangible and real. And here we wait in joyful hope, doing what is ordinary, for this is exactly where Jesus promises to find us.
The orchard in spring photographed by Brother Brian.