THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Wednesday, February 4th, 2015
Liturgical texts here
DISCIPLINE, mortification, fasting, sacrifice… these are words that tend to make us cringe because we associate them with pain. However, Jesus did not. As St. Paul wrote:
For the sake of the joy that lay before him, Jesus endured the cross… (Heb 12:2)
The difference between a Christian monk and a Buddhist monk is precisely this: the end for the Christian is not the mortification of his senses, or even peace and serenity; rather it is God himself. Anything less is falling short of fulfillment as much as throwing a rock in the sky falls short of hitting the moon. Fulfillment for the Christian is to allow God to possess him that he may possess God. It is this union of hearts that transforms and restores the soul into the image and likeness of the Holy Trinity. But even the most profound union with God can also be accompanied by a dense darkness, spiritual dryness, and sense of abandonment—just as Jesus, though in complete conformity to the Father’s will, experienced abandonment on the Cross.