Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things.
Every single creature is Full of God, and is a book about God
Every Creature is a word of God… Amen.
A challenge from the Book of Isaiah 1:1:13
Quit your worship charades. I can’t stand your trivial religious games: Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings— meetings, meetings, meetings—I can’t stand one more! Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them! You’ve worn me out! I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning. When you put on your next prayer-performance, I’ll be looking the other way. No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening. And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing people to pieces, and your hands are bloody. Go home and wash up. Clean up your act. Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings so I don’t have to look at them any longer. Say no to wrong. Learn to do good. Work for justice. Help the down-and-out.
Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless.
Imagine for a moment that God, through the Prophet Isaiah, is challenging us to a Transfiguration.
Random comments on Meister Echkert (ME) 1260 to 1328 as an approach to Transfiguration.
ME teaches to dig in behind the words, to break the shell and get to the kernel, and then to live in the allegory of the scripture. The Spirt will lead to truth and break open the illusions.
Our soul is the womb where the seeds of God are placed. (Sperma)
Our willingness to be detached from the wordiness is to become virgin
We are co-creators with God, God requires our participation. God is all about Love…bringing seeds into being. God is always giving birth, and God is the midwife. Our true virgin selves are asked to give birth.
Paul Tillich teaches ME that God is the Ground of our Being, and that God is always pouring God’s self out into no-thing.
ME might say that the anthropology of being Human is giving birth to our self. We are open to freedom, have the will to choose, and the will to power. It is only in human form that enlightenment can be attained.
We are the outpouring of Love, the act of Love, expressed in the universe, God illumines us and we become Love, at once lover, beloved and love.
ME suggests we be ‘in the moment’, that we stand ‘in the present’, and let God do the work with our help. These Holy moments are outside of profane time, and they exist in sacred or mythical time.
Our human practice of remembrance of the Holy is religion…and we are called again and again to return to our source of being. ME teaches the closer you get to God (The Holy) the less you perceive of God and the more you experience God. Perhaps this is Transfiguration.
Matthew quotes Jesus teaching that ‘every scribe who becomes a disciple of the reign of heaven brings forth things both old and new….
The stories we hear of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus Each transfigured with Ruah…the breath of God.
Ruah, Hebrew for breath of God….”and the Ruah of God moved upon the face of the waters….”
What might we understand of transfiguration of the mythical characters that are meaningful in our culture today:
* Obie Wan
Eckhart wrote ‘the outward person of this world grows old day by day towards their end, death’ the inward person on the other hand is the person, the sacred person, in whom God shines… and to find this God who shines in ourselves is to find the Cosmic Christ…the life that binds all things together in relationship’
We have learned over time from native peoples, for example White Buffalo Calf Woman, or from the Celtic tradition, and others that there is a common understanding of those living in the sacred that there is an expectation of the divine to burst out at any time…
Matthew Fox writes that when we see the world this way, we are creation centered. We might ask, how might we be transfigured into creation centered?
In our cultural mythology consider the characters of Lord of the Rings….
Frodo is easy to understand as the everyman in each of us, Peter, he carries in the ring as the sacred and terrifying hope of humanity… “I will take the Ring”, he said, “though I do not know the way.”
Sam characterizes the faithful disciple, following in his friend footsteps… perhaps he is the Jesus among us?
Aragorn…who understood from the beginning his role, and it is in his journey to paths of the dead that is has the power to release the souls there, from the curse of death. Perhaps he is the Jesus among us?
Gandalf reminding us of ancient traditions and stories, his transfiguration in his battle with the ancient evil of creation and real death and resurrection as Gandalf the white. Perhaps he is the Jesus among us, connecting us to tradition and the prophets who preceded him.
Tolkien in his often-quoted dialogue with CS Lewis insisted that Christianity was the ‘true myth’…the myth that really happened.
For me, there are only subtle distinction between the transfiguration mythology of Jesus, Moses and Elija, Gandalf, Obie Wan or Dumbledore….
We do not always recognize our own so called mountaintop experiences. We forgot the Buddhist Teaching of Pay Attention, Pay Attention, Pay Attention.
Even with us something like that happens once in a while. The face of a man walking with his child in the park, of a woman baking bread, of sometimes even the unlikeliest person listening to a concert, say, or standing barefoot in the sand watching the waves roll in, or just having a beer at a Saturday baseball game in July. Every once and so often, something so touching, so incandescent, so alive transfigures the human face that it’s almost beyond bearing.
Frederick Buechner Beyond Words
Jesus wants us to see, experience God’s blessings, so that we can cling to that experience in moments of doubt, despair, or anguish. When we are attentive to the light within us and around us, we will experience more of that light and become a light for others.
As we prepare steps perhaps on a journey of transfiguration.
1. Enter into a thin space, a holy mountain of your own choosing… catch God hiding in plain sight.
2. Imagining the breath of God in you…the breath of radical honesty, compassion, forgiveness, unconditional love, peacefulness.
3. In every encounter, ask yourself, What would Jesus do? What is Jesus calling me to do? What is standing in the way?
We will learn to trust that the transfiguration experience is closer to us than we might think. Are we prepared to open ourselves to that light?
I cannot meditate on Transfiguration without painfully remembering our use of Atomic Weapons on the Japanese people on August 6th and 9th 1945. The day we were all blinded by the light.
From Dorothy Day:
Jubilate Deo. President Truman was jubilant. We have created. We have created destruction. We have created a new element, called Pluto. Nature had nothing to do with it. The papers list the scientists (the murderers) who are credited with perfecting this new weapon. Scientists, army officers, great universities, and captains of industry-all are given credit lines in the press for their work of preparing the bomb-and other bombs, the President assures us, are in production now. Everyone says, “I wonder what the Pope thinks of it?” How everyone turns to the Vatican for judgment, even though they do not seem to listen to the voice there!
But our Lord Himself has already pronounced judgment on the atomic bomb.
When James and John (John the beloved) wished to call down fire from heaven on their enemies, Jesus said: “You know not of what spirit you are. The Son of Man came not to destroy souls but to save.” He said also, “What you do unto the least of these my brethren, you do unto me. Reprinted from The Catholic Worker, September 1945