Readings for 30/9/2012

An excerpt from John Main OSB, “Death and Resurrection,” MOMENT OF CHRIST (New York: Continuum, 1998), pp. 68-69.

[T]he whole Christian tradition tells us is that if we would become wise we must learn the lesson that we have here “no abiding city.” [We must hear] what the wise of ages past and present say to us: to have life in focus we must have death in [focus. . .].

  Talking about death is hard for the worldly to understand. Indeed the principal fantasy of much worldliness operates out of completely the opposite point of view: not the wisdom of our own mortality but the pure fantasy that we are immortal, beyond physical weakness. [… ]

Meditation is a way of power because it is the way to understand our own mortality. It is the way to get our own death into focus. It can do so because it is the way beyond our own mortality. It is the way beyond our own death to the resurrection, to a new and eternal life, the life that arises from our union with God.

The essence of the Christian gospel is that we are invited to this experience now, today. All of us are invited to die to our own self-importance, our own selfishness, our own limitations. We are invited to die to our own exclusiveness. . . Our invitation to die is also one to rise to new life, to community, to communion, to a full life without fear. I suppose it would be difficult to estimate what it is people fear most—death or resurrection. But in meditation we lose our fear because we realize death is death to fear and resurrection is rising to new life.

Every time we sit down to meditation we enter this axis of death and resurrection. We do so because in our meditation we go beyond our own life and all the limitations of our life into the mystery of God. We discover, each of us from our own experience, that the mystery of God is the mystery of love, infinite love—love that casts our all fear.

After meditation: from St. Augustine, Sermons, noted in THE ROOTS OF CHRISTIAN MYSTICISM, Olivier Clement (London: New City, 1995), p. 249

Fear is a suffering that oppresses us. But look at the immensity of love.

Carla Cooper - cmcooper@gvtc.com