Friday, 3 February 2017

on pain

The very history of Catholicism has been one of sacralising and sanctifying the mundane and profane
Christ and His Church have turned words which disappear on the wind into conduits of Divine Grace as in the confessional or the consecration
He has turned mere physical contact into Ordination
He has turned sexual reproduction into a sacramental spiritual procreation of souls
He has turned the physical cleanser water into the spiritual cleanser in baptism
Olive Oil into spiritual seals of the Holy Spirit imbuing profound graces upon the intellect and will
Bread and Wine into God the Son's entire Being as spiritual food
Occult pagan shrines and statues into christianised symbols and places of divine worship - Aten, Horus,Osiris,Apollo, Orpheus, Mithras evaporate and thesymbols depict Christ - Artemis, Athene, Hera, Demeter are exorcised and their symbols christianised to reflect the majesty of the Theotokos - Our Lady the Queen of Heaven....
...and the Symbol of Barbaric torture and excruciating death - becomes the means for Our Salvation - that which destroyed is now the sign of the cross which provides spiritual defence and blessing and an entrance into prayer and the presence of God and a spiritual weapon against the forces of evil...
Do you want to start me on what God does to people? The most malevolent, corrupt, murderous, narcissistic,abusive, salacious, treacherous monsters in history who became our greatest prophets and saints?
The same can be said for our wounds, our pains, afflictions, burdens and our self-willed fasting, sacrifice and self-denial - that which ostensibly seems to demean and dimish and be detrimental to the physical works miracles within the spiritual realm.
There is an extraordinary meme which is as old as civilization - it can be found in aboriginal dreamtime stories, in the works of Aeschylus, in the Sibylline verses, in the analects of Confucius, in Vedic texts, in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, in the Epic of Gilgamesh etc etc etc...everywhere....
"By Our Wounds are We Healed"
..and more extraordinarily: When every text mentions some form of a Messiah - a King to Come - God-man who will bear our sins vicarious [early Greek plywrights] - the Great saint from the west - the God to come from palestine after whom no temple will exist to any other etc
they all don't speak of some great political force or some new civilization but of redemption...
"By HIS wounds are we healed"
No community - no civilization - no epoch - no religion or theogony or cult or any belief system has not had this fundamental principle - even if it's alien and contradictory to their own religion [eg in Buddhism where its placement in the texts makes no sense]
Someone will come - they will teach truth - they will die and bear our sins and redeem us...
Check out the first chapter of Fulton Sheen's Life of Christ
or the Joseph Campbell institute's work on Jesus being heralded and predicted by every religion in some form - as if - if jesus did not exist - we'd have had to create Him because He is the heart and centre of all human prophecy...
It is an intrinsic human understanding from the very beginning - suffering is a means to sanctification - that which is ostensibly physically bad is spiritually transformed into a grace and blessing...
And no - this is not some form of weak compliant fatalistic victimisation masochism or equivocation for the pains and sufferings of the world
Nor are we turning God into some sociopathic sadist and thug - no rather we're agreeing with saint Paul when he said the pains and sufferings of this world are NOTHING in comparison with the joys and pleasures of Heaven...think the pains of birthpangs and the joy of the newborn...

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