Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Unsolved Mysteries

Sometimes I get an insight so elemental I am embarrassed I didn't get said insight epochs before. Because I have to be ever-vigilant against the sin of pride* I will share it with you, dear Internet.

I was praying my almost-nightly** Rosary going through my favorite Mysteries (Sorrowful) when, having concluded, I realized the groupings of mysteries are really the names -- like I-95 or The Pennsylvania Turnpike -- for roads by which we come to Christ. How I didn't see this before is more a testament to my spiritual astigmatism than anything else.

Some of us have a "Christ forehead slappin' moment" when we ponder the Joyful Mysteries; The Nativity and all that entails...when we consider how the light of the world is like a tiny candle in the largest, blackest abyss: the darkness must yield. Others among us have reached that point when we have meditated upon the Glorious Mysteries, reaching a new height upon realizing the impact of The Risen Christ. For yet others, it is the Luminous Mysteries which causes their hearts to turn Godwards. The signs and marvels Christ performs in Scripture can help some people wrap their brains (and spirits) around the fact He is "the Christ, son of the living God."

For me, the Sorrowfuls do the job best. There is a -- wait for it -- Chuck Yaeger-like aspect of both love and manliness about the Agony in the garden at Gethsemane, or being crowned with thorns, or being scourged, or carrying the Cross (and with it the weight of the sinfulness of untold billions of people) or finally emptying Yourself enough to die for these fallen creatures even (especially?) those who willfully pirouette away from You and skip 'n' hop back to Sinville.

That Christ was able and willing to withstand that for me is something so inexpressively humbling it leaves me silent with gratitude. Gratitude, mind you, which I frequently do an abysmal job of expressing. But I am grateful to Him, even as I am inadequate in showing him said gratitude. Why would God-made-man endure such agonies? When you consider that God (y'know, being GOD) undergoing a papercut entails more than anything you or I will ever know, it is even more jarring to realize the extents to which He'd go to prove His love for a fallen bunch like us.



* The lovely and gracious Karen inadvertently fueled that by saying I was the closest thing she knew to a Jesuit without being one.

** I hate it when I miss one, but alas, I must confess to doing so.