Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mystagogy

He is risen! Alleluia!

This period after Easter is traditionally devoted to 'mystagogy', that is, the interpretation of the Mysterium Fidei, the Mystery of Faith, for the newly initiated.

While the recently baptized have much to learn, the same holds true even for Christians who have been at it for awhile. By definition, the Christian mysteries are inexhaustible, since they put us in contact with the infinitely awesome God Who created all there is. I suspect that some of the difficulties we encounter in our daily lives as Christians are less effectively addressed by attempting 'more of an effort to live well'. Rather, that very effort wears us out because we forget the dignity to which we are called as well as the power and glory of God. Gradually our good resolutions are broken down by daily pressures and simple human inertia, and we cease to know either 'the Scriptures or the power of God [Mark 12: 24].' Like the Sadducees, resurrection begins to look like a fairy tale, and suffering becomes unredeemable and unbearable.

So we do well to meditate, especially at this time of year, on the "depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God [Rom 11: 33].'

Let us first admit that this 'depth' of God is mysterious. We are mysteries to ourselves and one another: how much more mysterious is Almighty God Who dwells in uncreated light? If we have spent any time at all getting to know ourselves or if we have entered into relationships in marriage, with children or long-term friendships, we discover that human beings themselves are an infinite source of wonder, puzzlement and growth. In this we image forth the wide spiritual spaces of the unseen God.

Grasping that our worship of God is by means of sacraments (mysteries) is a first step in preserving ourselves from the mistake of thinking that all we need to do is follow some formula wo get to heaven, whether that be following the rules of the Catholic Church, or even simply accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior. We must constantly change, morphing from glory to glory, deepening our love for God, broadening our love for the Church and the world. To stand still or 'coast' in our discipleship might not immediately manifest itself as going backward or falling away, but when we serve a dynamic God and the Lord of History, why should we wish to settle for simple prerequisites? Let us go forward into God's glory, following the 'path of life' shown to us by our merciful and loving Lord Jesus Christ!

1 comment:

Mr. Potato said...

Fr.,
Well put.

Imprimatur

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If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.


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