Towards Eternal Life
Happiness consists in knowing what you want, and then knowing you have it, or you are on the way to getting it. What we want is God. Our hearts will not rest, until they rest in you, O Lord . Our minds seek infinite truth. Our hearts are made for infinite love. The purpose of the structures of our life-of going apart from the world in silence in solitude-is so that we can keep alive, at that level of knowing, who we are and what we really want. Through contemplative prayer and spiritual experiences, we then know that, to some extent, we have it now or are on the way of getting it. ... we are really committed to be in quest of the fullness of divine life and joy. That is why our life can be tremendously happy. There is a deep joy. We know what we want, and we know, to some extent, that we already enjoy it but there is infinitely more in eternal life. We are on the way to it.
When we see the failures, weaknesses, and the sins in ourselves and in our brothers, we should not let this lead to acedia. We should not let this undercut our clinging to the great call that we have to the fullness of divine life and joy. We should just humbly accept that and know that God is not finished with us yet. Together, with the Lord, I can do all things in him who strengthens me . We are on the way. That is the excitement. That is the joy of the life.
Benedict says the whole of life should be a Lent, but Lent is a time when especially we live in this joy because we have those Tabor moments-moments of transfiguration. Together with the resurrection of Lazarus, these moments are pointing to where this all leads . To what? The risen life. To the life beyond Calvary, beyond Jerusalem, to the empty tomb, to the fullness of life. That is what we are called to. To desire anything less than that is to betray ourselves-who we are, what we are made for, and the meaning of our being. To live in the joy of this promise of the risen life is the source of a deep, profound joy even as we struggle with the poor, weak, stupid things that happen all of the time. We know that these are just steps on the journey. We are on the way into the fullness.
Let us, with great compassion, embrace our own weaknesses and struggles, and those of our brothers. But let us keep clear in our life what we are called to. Let us concretely and realistically move toward that as we encourage and support each other. Then we will come together to the fullness of Easter and eternal life.
May the Divine Assistance remain with us always. Amen.
1. Nos fecisti ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te. (Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.) Saint Augustine in Confessions, Book 1, Chapter 1.
2. Phil 4:13.
3. Resurrection of Lazarus, Jn 11.
© Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery, 2006