Episode 14 Reflections
EPISODE 14: The Thing In The Bag
The ashes of the late world carried on the bleak and temporal winds to and fro in the void. Everything uncoupled from its shoring. Unsupported in the ashen air. Sustained by a breath, trembling and brief.
And there shall be great earthquakes, and in divers places famines and pestilences; and there shall be terrors and great signs from heaven.
I am someone I would have never imagined. A secret. A dream. I am this, body and soul. Burn me. Drown me. Tell me lies. I will still be who I am.
The question is not “How am I to find God?” but “How am I to let myself be found by him?” God is looking into the distance for me, trying to find me, and longing to bring me home.
We walk once more the pilgrim way of Lent,
towards your presence bent;
far off yet here—
the goal of all desire.
-Thomas H. Cain-
If one does away with the fact of the Resurrection, one also does away with the Cross, for both stand and fall together.
-Hans Urs von Balthasar-
Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.
Those who go down into the furnaces of Egypt come up changed… She had been stamped with the mark and would never be the same again.
The cross of ashes is not a memento mori; it is a sign of Christ’s victory over death. It might be good stoicism to wear a reminder of our condemnation to die, but it is not Christianity.
I know I can stand up to this bit of history that we are experiencing right now. I know what is happening and yet my head is clear. Sometimes I feel as if a layer of ashes were being sprinkled over my heart, as if my face were withering and decaying, as if everything were falling apart and my heart were letting everything go. But these are brief moments, then my head clears and I can once more bear to stand up to this piece of history which is ours. For once you have begun to walk with God, you need only to keep on walking with God.
Joseph was cast into a pit as a figure of thy burial and resurrection. But what offering such as this can I ever make to thee?
If, as they say, some dust thrown in my eyes
Will keep my talk from getting overwise,
I’m not the one for putting off the proof.
Let it be overwhelming, off a roof
And round a corner, blizzard snow for dust,
And blind me to a standstill if it must.
By contrition we are made clean; by compassion, ready; and by genuine longing for God, worthy. These three are the means to attain heaven. They are medicines necessary for the soul to be healed. Though healed, the soul’s wounds are visible to God, who sees them as honorable scars.
-Julian of Norwich-
What do we keep hidden, inaccessible to others, even to God, even when we have convinced ourselves that we have given ourselves over completely?