Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Octave of Easter

Once the vortex of Holy Week spits out a bedraggled me on Easter Monday, I find that it takes me a few days to catch up on energy and, to be quite frank, get my moorings on the normal passage of time. I have a hard time remembering how a typical week flows. I often don't know what day it is until Wednesday or Thursday. The Triduum, especially, has a centripetal force to it that causes me to lose track of time, in a way. It wears me out, but it's kind of cool at the same time.

It's cool because I realize, once Holy Week is over, that for about three or four days all I could really concentrate on was Jesus, his Passion, and how it speaks to the life of the community of faith I'm called to serve. The way my brain normally conceives of the passage of time, week by week, is, for the time being, interrupted, and I think less about how I'm using that time and more about what the meaning of it is. That is, it's almost like time is suspended (I even find the distinction between nighttime and daytime becomes blurred) and some manifestation of eternity creeps in. I quite like it. Actually, I imagine that this is a foretaste of how time after the Resurrection will be: an endless concentrating on the love the Father has for the Son in the Holy Spirit, and how we find ourselves bound up in this love...ever praising, ever rejoicing, having ever before our faces the earthly depth and heavenly breadth of this glorious love, no longer burdened by the vagaries of time.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

novus mandatum

For the upcoming Maundy Thursday, a word from Maximus the Confessor (the especially good bits are in italics):

"Love is therefore a great good, and of goods the first and most excellent good, since through it God and man are drawn together in a single embrace, and the creator of humankind appears as human, through the undeviating likeness of the deified to God in the good so far as is possible to humankind. And the interpretation of love is: to love the Lord God with all the heart and soul and power, and the neighbor as oneself....Other than this there is nothing that can make the human being who loves God ascend any higher, for all other ways of true religion are subordinate to it. This we know as love and so we call it, not divisively assigning one form of love to God and another to human beings, for it is one and the same and universal: owed to God and attaching human beings to one another. For the activity and clear proof of perfect love towards God is a genuine disposition of voluntary goodwill toward one's neighbor."

from Letter 2, "On Love"