Sunday, August 11, 2013
One of the things it seems one never gets around to squaring with - to facing and pinning down and rejecting - is this notion that at some point in the future one will attain in this world to some kind of perfect timeless satisfaction and peace and prosperity (often so modestly envisioned). Whatever it may be called subjectively from person to person, the notion can objectively be stated in the negative: that at some point in this earthly life one will no longer face upheaval.
The modern world - our western culture - is geared towards the propagation of this lie of false security, of false life. It can be summed in this phrase: a life that is absent of transformation. This is ultimately why physically healthy people kill themselves. There may be other reasons involved, but the ultimate ticket that decides a suicide is the continued absence of transformation - which is a persistent absence that our modern culture forces upon us and drums into our minds, incessantly.
Faced with this ongoing blockage by our culture that tells us in varied ways that we are complete and self-sufficient purely observing individuals, we don't find the freedom of hating our sins, of hating being atrophied by them in the stale dust of decades of our old self. When you live, you see that life is its own intrinsic deepening. The mystery of life deepens. That is not just a personal view; that is what happens; that is life: its mystery deepens. When the opposite happens we know on some fundamental level that something is off, something is wrong. What is wrong is one's self - in conjunction with being told damn lies all of one's life.
We sense this, but lacking understanding, we are prone to say that it is the quashing of individuality. We fail to see the paradox. We lack individuality to the extent that we are robbed of transformation. When we are not being transformed, we are not ourselves. The more loudly one proclaims one's individuality, in myriad forms, the more nightmarish becomes one's state of lost identity.
This is why people who are diagnosed with terminal cancer can live in the present and be living realists, while some people who have nothing of that sort and whose lives are quite cushioned can hardly get out of bed in the morning.
There is only one true transformation: Jesus Christ in the Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church.
You cannot get yourself to die, and this is why people have anxiety. You can get yourself to die with Jesus. It is He in His mercy that allows you to die in Him. It is the only way you can get yourself to die.
This has nothing to do with "eastern nihilism". It has everything to do with the absolute truth that Jesus is Life. Life to the full and brimming over: the living water.
And often when He transforms us, we have made ourselves too large (and loud) to see the transformation.