Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Counter-Cultural Adventure

The search for the Face of God is a difficult adventure. It requires a personal desire of the soul seeking such a gift and it requires much sacrifice in a world full of noise and distractions. Saint Anselm in his “Proslogion” takes us on a mystical journey.

Every Soul is Searching for Something
Indeed, and sadly for many, it takes a lifetime to realize that only God can satisfy all of one’s longings and desires.

Saint Anselm writes: “Have you found, my soul, what you were seeking? You were seeking God and you found Him to be that which is the Highest of all, in Whom nothing better can be pondered; and found Him to be Life itself, Light, Wisdom, Goodness, Eternal Blessedness, and exists everywhere and always.”

Can we put aside time consuming, temporal pleasures in this element of time and seek the things that are eternal? One has to accept and be prepared for a counter-cultural adventure.

A Desire to Know God More Fully
What we know about God is that which He has revealed. But for those who are seeking a closer union with Him, how does one get there, and will there be any words to describe what one has found.

Saint Anselm, in His thirst for God, writes: “Tell my longing soul what else You are besides what it has seen.”

This is a desire for deep, intense contemplation - to ponder, embrace and enter into the hidden life of Christ within each of us. This is a mystical kneeling before the altar of the heart in order to love and adore the Sacred Heart Who rests there and learn how to perfectly adore Him through the Immaculate Heart.

The Cross of this Journey
In our modern day there is much noise, distractions, and commitments which could easily lead one to fatigue or to sin and douse the flames of the heart’s spiritual desires.

Saint Anselm writes that the soul “sees that it cannot see more because of its own darkness.” He continues: “Truly, Lord, this is the inaccessible light in which You dwell. For there is nothing else which can penetrate through it to discover You there. I do not see this light since it is too much for me.”

This light which is too much for Anselm caused the face of Moses to shine after His encounter with the Most High on Mount Sinai (cf. Exodus 34:29-35); it is the light witnessed by Peter, James and John at the Transfiguration (cf. Luke 9:29-36); and it is the light which blinded Saint Paul (cf. Acts 9:3-9).

Prayer of Frustration
“O great and inaccessible Light! O whole and blessed Truth! How far You are from me who am so near to You! How withdrawn You are from my view while I am present to Your view! You are wholly present everywhere and I do not see You. In You I move and in You I have my being, and I cannot come near to You. You are within me and around me, and I do not experience You with my senses.”

There is a bit of the “dark night” experience in Anselm’s prayer. He wholeheartedly desires to commune with the Most Holy Trinity but cannot sense God or feel His Presence.

Hope does not Fail
If complete intimacy with the Lord does not come to fruition in this life, then, Saint Anselm prays, “may I progress every day until all comes to fullness; let the knowledge of You grow in me here in this life, and there in heaven let it be complete; let Your love grow in me here and reach fullness there, so that here my joy may be great in hope, and there be complete in reality.”

For the Remaining Days on Earth
“Let my mind meditate on You, let my tongue speak of You, let my heart love You, let my mouth preach You. Let my soul hunger for You, let my flesh thirst for You, my whole being desire You, until I enter into the joy of the Lord, Who is God, Three in One, blessed forever. Amen.”

What person bearing the name of “Christian” would not desire this! Why seek after things whose joys and rewards can only be temporary!

May our Blessed Mother, the Queen of contemplation and adoration, thwart everything that gets in our path to tempt us as we journey towards a more intimate union with her Son!