Thursday, February 9, 2012

Shadows of C.S. Lewis

If there is one thing that I've learned in my time seeking God, it is the fact that nothing transcendent can ever be grasped and held mentally by us, and still retain its true form and full power to transform us lowly creatures in Christ. Take the transcendent of morality, for example. Morality is the right manner of being as exhibited by our actions, and that right manner of being is right specifically because it in harmony with the eternal Mind of God, the Word through all things, He that was made flesh by the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through our formed conscience, in the tiniest whisper, our Lord tells us in a still, small voice the right path to tread, and the right manner of being. We feel it in the depth of our soul. In this way, God acts upon us, and we are not trying to grasp Him and bring Him down into our finite thoughts. The moment we try to over-think it - as many scholars and other intellectuals do - we have tried to grasp what cannot be grasped, and tried to hold what cannot be held. In doing so, we find it vaporize in our hands, because we have refused to receive and thereby be transformed. I believe that this happens more often than we realize; I believe that it occurs unfortunately any time one looks at the world or the universe and sees only the matter, only the information, only the energy, only the forces, and does not see them as windows to the Divine Nature.

The more we, in this scientific age, quantify and probe the tiniest recesses of quantum mechanics, or the highest heights of physics to the Big Bang and the milliseconds following the very beginning of the universe, the more the transcendent that we have known and felt in the depths of our soul for as long as mankind has existed vaporizes in our hands, though reality is just the same as before. It is a trap that so many brilliant minds fall into these days. We have a tendency to see simply material things alone with a non-material soul, with a mind that was made to connect with transcendent Truth, and can only understand the universe through that lense. But at the end of the day, with all knowledge of this universe that we have, and the more we know, the sum of the human mind remains between denying himself and denying the transcendent in the depths of his own soul, or embracing the God without Whom he is nothing; embracing His action upon the soul, and resisting the desire to make Him conform to our comfort and our mind. This is the destiny of mankind in the eternal purpose of God; we are capable of receiving the Divine Nature, and being transformed in the very glory and being and possessing the very life of Christ, and this transformation takes places through our Faith in Christ pulling us up, and through becoming more and more sensitive to the Holy Spirit being given to us in the dept of our soul, and manifesting Him by our actions.

I believe this is partly what C.S. Lewis meant when he stated over and over again in his masterpiece of philosophy disguising itself as children's literature, The Chronicles of Narnia, that "He's not a tame Lion, you know." He was of course referring to Aslan, the symbol he uses to convey Jesus Christ to the reader under type and shadow. Christ is not tame, He will not be quantified, He will not be measured, He will not be subjected to rigorous tests of His existence, nor be subjugated to the probing of the mind into the hidden mysteries of His eternity and transcendence. All He has permitted us to do is to accept His grace as a reality and receive His theosis, starting at the depth of our soul, and He will not stop until we are resplendent creatures, burning with the light of a thousand suns, perfect images of the glory of God, in Him. He has married Himself to His Church two-thousand years ago, and He is still married to her; anyone who is a member of her is sharing in a two-thousand year marriage, and joining in the waiting for Him to return from His long and mystical journey.

This is what makes the mystery of the Eucharist so much more astounding; Christ, who is not tame, and will not be quantified nor identified nor broken down into human logic, is called as easily and as freely as a Divine Lover running to the beloved into our midst. He has the boldness to declare that in the context of the Divine Union with Him, we need not be merely passive, merely receiving. After we receive Him, after He has joined us to Himself, we begin to be grafted into a relationship with our Lord where we participate more and more; by His constant and utterly unfathomable grace and propping up for lack of a better term, His Church offers His Sacrifice, she offers God Himself and we along with Him, back to God. No individual has the grandeur in and of himself to offer God to God and so actively participate amid the very act of receiving God; we participate in the Sacrifice of the Eucharist through the Bishop or Priest presiding, yet even a Priest, even a Bishop, is only in so Divine an office because Christ conferred the Grace upon Him to be one with Mary in a particularly astounding way. Mary is the participator in the Divine Life; it is because she is the substance of the Church and the unity of the Church that the Church collectively offers God's Sacrifice to God, and Priests, as ministers of the Church and representatives of the being and authority of Christ, unite to this offering that Mary consummated under the Cross when she stood there and offered her Son to God as Abraham offered Isaac in type and shadow. Mary is, through her own absolute and utter dependence on Christ, our only participation and only hope of participation in the Divine Nature because she alone has God as her Son, which is an intimate union and participation unfathomable to us; she alone dwelt in the substance of the Holy Trinity from the moment of her Immaculate Conception to her glorious Assumption; the Assumption is nothing more than the ultimate physical and spiritual expression of the Incarnation of God, who Assumed her over her whole life and most absolutely at the Incarnation by becoming her Son, bone of her bone and flesh of her flesh. Oh the depth and riches of the knowledge and plan of God! His ways our unfathomable. Never has it entered the heart of man what God has in store for those who love Him, what He has already Assumed the Blessed Virgin into. Let us always be awestruck at His transforming Grace and Love, and let us beseech Him, Christ our God, through the prayers of His mother and all of the glorious Saints, to safely shepherd us to His eternal arms, which is the embrace of Love Himself.

2 comments:

  1. What do you mean that Our Lady "dwelt in the substance of the Holy Trinity...?"

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  2. No heresy here, don't worry :) I was simply referring to her life as being one of profound intimacy with the Triune God. From the moment of the Immaculate Conception, from the first moment of her existence, her relationship with the Incarnation of God was already her being. Her life was one of profound intimacy with the Holy Trinity, being His Temple, the Bride of God, the Body of Christ, and the Virgin made Church. As humanity personified, she was Assumed into the Divine Nature of her Son over her entire life, as a consequence of His assumption of her flesh. In this way, she is unfathomably and intimately joined to the Divine Nature, Jesus her Son. That is all I meant by that :)

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