instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lazarus, come forth

I spent Holy Week on retreat in the Florida Keys, and --

What? Yeah, yeah. Enviers gonna envy. You're just mad because you didn't think of it.

But okay, so it wasn't a particularly religious retreat. I did start and end each day with prayer, and I cut way back on the Internet, watched no TV, and read nothing but Bl. Columba Marmion's Christ, The Life of the Soul (and some snorkeling brochures).

If you haven't read Christ, The Life of the Soul, order the contemporary translation published by Zaccheus Press right now as an Easter present to yourself. It's a series of conferences Bl. Columba gave to his brother monks, in which he explains the Divine plan of salvation in a way that makes it positively exciting.

Exciting! Imagine that! The catechism you've heard from your mother's knee, drawn from the same old hoary passages from St. Paul they've been reading to you at Mass your whole life, becomes a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat tale in the hands, and heart, of an Irish monk preaching in French a hundred years ago.

How does he manage this trick? I'm not sure, but I suspect it's because his soul burned with love for Jesus Christ. Not with love of doctrine, or of the Church, or of revelation and Scripture, except insofar as all these are referred to Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God and true man, the son of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit.

See what I mean? All the same old lettuce, nothing at all remarkable when you hear it second hand, but then my own heart is not burning with love for Jesus, with the nonisity of desiring nothing but Him. (Although those who desire nothing but Jesus possess Him, and His Father, and their Holy Spirit, and all graces and joys besides...)

The neighborhood manatee, hard-chilling Keys style.
So I spend several days communing with manatees and reading about the love of the Father for the Church, born from the side of His crucified Son and vivified by the Holy Spirit Who is their mutual Love...

... and I come home to find that Christ's Church is still filled with bellyaching about feet.

And I wonder, for how many Catholics might the Son of the Living God just as well have remained in the tomb?