October 22, 2015

In Christ

The memorial of Pope St. John Paul II, optional in most places, is obligatory here in Rome. The popes are our local bishops, after all. The proper reading for the Office of Readings comes from his homily for the inauguration of his pontificate.
So often today, man does not know that which is in him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you, therefore, we beg you with humility and with trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of life eternal.
So much of the early genesis of my own conversion is in that. What is this consciousness that finds itself existing? Does finding myself to be a human existence impose on me a responsibility? Why bother continuing to exist? What's it all for?

The creation, and the individual creature in it, exists so that God might be incarnate in it, that the Origin and Source we clumsily call 'God' might overflow not only in love for the Beloved who is God, but into another, sharing the blessedness that is deity.

Because of our sin this incarnate Beloved reveals himself from the Cross, not only showing but blazing for our humanity a path from the death of sin to the blessed life God has always willed for the creation, the path that for us takes the shape of an immolation of self for the sake of the other. This we call Resurrection.

I discover my true self in this created humanity of Christ, for he is both the firstborn of all creatures (Colossians 1:15) and the Word through whom all things were made (John 1:3). The breath of life that made the first human being a living soul (Genesis 2:7) has wound its way down to me. What will I do with it? Always there is a choice; the self-will that the cluster of passions that Christian tradition calls the 'world' teaches, or the obedience of the Cross that is my liberation from sin and the helping of my neighbor toward this same liberation.

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