Sunday, September 14, 2014

Triumphing in the Cross

In Christ we never have to look back with regret, pining with melancholy to recapture what we have lost, or sorrowfully longing to undo what cannot now be undone.  In Christ, nothing that is truly precious in the entire experience of our lives will ever be lost to us.  Everything good and love-worthy and dear to us from every minute of our whole life’s experience is safely stored in the Heart of Christ for us to encounter and enjoy again in God’s good time. Alive in Christ, living his own life by his gracious Mercy, every day we can, if we want, again become “like newborn babes”, wholly enjoying the present moment offered us (that and that only, for only that is real), wholly occupied with drinking milk from the breasts of Christ’s consolation and sharing that milk with every other thirsty person we know.

Do you think for a moment that he, the eternal Wisdom of the Father, is ignorant of the endless deaths that continually gnaw away at our hearts, souls and bodies?  Don’t you think he knows far better than we do what those deaths are all about and what needs to be done to leave them behind?  Christ, in fact,  knows intimately our impulse toward decay, because once he too truly drank the bitterness of his and our common mortality, drank it down to the dregs, so that it is your and my specific death that he triumphed over, and not merely some abstract idea of death.  The wounds in his body swiftly banish all such abstraction.  The one thing that a follower of Jesus can be sure of is that he or she will never be alone, because in the act of following at least two are always involved.  So, if we follow him into his death, he will lead us out of it into his life.

Plaque with the Crucifixion, Monvaerni, 15th century, Limoges, France, Painted enamel on copper, 9 7/16 x 8 7/8 x 1/16 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Used with permission.  
Meditation by Father Simeon.