Sunday, May 28, 2017
A little forest was torn up to build some boring sports complex/ice arena. While the immediate ruins lie, amid the mud and unearthed roots, greenfast starts again; even saplings come, as the site hangs briefly in suspension.
That is an image of time: the lowly green coming on between the wreckage without bewailing, as if no venerable forest was destroyed in a day. That is the quickness the forest had all along, when one would have called the forest old.
This is why certain memories can seem older and further away than others, though sequentially they are not ordered so. The event of one memory will seem far away which happened at a more recent date, while one that is sequentially older seems more recent: because there are certain points in time - like a time of crisis or a time of particular peace - that are an aggregation of previous points of time. This aggregation reveals those old memories in a new way, rather than making all those memories older. And the only time this happens is in the present.
It shows that we are born of suffering, and more often than not, we die from pleasure, or at least pleasure passes, and passing, becomes old. A time of trial though sends one bounding away from that point in time at a certain soaring rate, plumb into the present, which puts recent memories further away than older memories, while the older ones gain a newness.
While people like to say that time flows, the truer statement is that time aggregates.
One of the deepest things that T.S. Eliot wrote: "The past is about to happen."
The crucifixion that took place on Calvary is present on the altar when the consecration of the bread and wine takes place. No pious posturing necessary: you are present at Calvary and the Last Supper. This is the Bread of Life. This, and only this, truly fills you, moves, animates, brings joy and peace to you, beyond all understanding. And not for a moment only, but for your lifelong journey that is your life.
The power of absolution, the washing away of your sins, in a concrete moment in time, the forgiveness that Christ already won for you applied now in the present, after which you are a new creation, is the light in which you see your sins and past truly - in the soothing consolation of God's absolution.
I remember once driving with my Dad along some country road and I imagined in the forests we were passing, two companions walking. One of them was a priest, and at certain points, the man would make confession to the priest, and they would then carry on, till again, they would stop and the man would yet again make confession; over logs and creeks and around trees, they went forward as new creations, until yet again they would stop and the man would again make confession, and so on, and on; and every time they stopped, all time previous aggregated, and then unfolded as they went forward; and this never became tired to them.
On the contrary, their going forward like this was the very healing of time itself.