Monday, August 07, 2006

Dreaming of Transfiguration

Last week, my little prayer group reflected on the Feast of Transfiguration, last Sunday's Gospel reading, and shared several stories of moments when they saw (or felt) the transfiguration of the Lord in their own lives.

I cannot personally recall of any moment in my life when I perceive God to reveal Himself in such splendor as described in the Gospel passage of transfiguration. Not being a native speaker of English, the word "transfiguration" has always meant for me, Jesus' transfiguration, and is not linked to any experience I've ever had, but perhaps I can identify with "epiphany", or in my case, mini-epiphanies...

To look upon the face of Christ, to recognize its mystery amid the daily events and the sufferings of his human life, and then to grasp the divine splendour definitively revealed in the Risen Lord, seated in glory at the right hand of the Father: this is the task of every follower of Christ and therefore the task of each one of us.—Rosarium Virginis Mariae (no. 9)

While in exile on earth, many of us have to rely on dark faith, a sometimes truly opaque faith, that believed that beneath our exterior appearances, there is to behold, the divinity of each soul. The three apostles were the lucky ones to behold Jesus in His glory while still on earth!

Yet fret not, we who have not ascended the mountain, for each of us indeed has a capacity to behold hidden glory! Naturally, our feeble senses cannot perceive the glory of God, but our eyes of faith could "see". My epiphanies consist only of fleeting moments when, gazing at the face of God, He deemed to unveil Himself and made known His will for me.

For me, after those all-too-short epiphanies, come an awareness of new eyes of faith. Through these, I began to 'see' that beneath each person's appearance, there is a being of infinite worth. Each person becomes more than an accident, more than a statistic, more than an irritant, more than an economic unit, more than another pair of hands; he is a child of God! It is ironic that our bodies, meant to 'make visible the invisible', could limit our views to what our physical senses perceive.

"St John tells us that the other enemy is the lust of the eyes, a deep-seated avariciousness that leads us to appreciate only what we can touch. Such eyes are glued to earthly things and, consequently, they are blind to supernatural realities. We can, then, use this expression of sacred Scripture to indicate that disordered desire for material things, as well as that deformation which views everything around us — other people, the circumstances of our life and of our age — with just human vision."—St Josemaria Escriva, Christ is passing by

Our cry Domine, ut videam! becomes a proclamation of faith, a faith that has not yet seen but seeks to unveil the face of God.

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