February 28, 2016

“Moses, We Need to Talk.”

Week Three:  Halfway through Lent!  The blaze of grand resolutions has died down to an occasionally glowing ember.  I believe that the lessons of this week’s Scripture readings say to us that this is a good state of affairs.  Simplicity and humility are marks of true holiness.  God calls Moses to Himself by means of a quietly burning bush, not a cinematic conflagration.  He names Himself “I Am”, not “The Great and Powerful God Almighty”.  Namaan is healed by a simple act, “Go, wash seven times in the Jordan.”—not by some magical, mystical Shaman-special-performance.  Centuries later, an unbelievable act of self-sacrifice is explained by a simple statement:  “He has children—I do not.”—not by a theological dissertation on conforming to Christ.

So often in our narcissistic, “selfie” driven society, the “I did it my way” mentality tempts us away from the way of Christ, making it hard for us to see the virtue of humility as a good to be sought after.  Holiness is for everyone, not just for mega-watt performers on a world stage.  Some of us may be called to a bloody martyrdom, but most of us are called to the white martyrdom of everyday annoyances.  We should still aspire to acts of holiness, but we must not pass by everyday opportunities while seeking spectacular exhibitions.

Holiness is found in hidden ways as well as the public arenas of the world:  in a house all alone all day serving the needs of my family, in a back office crunching numbers all day, in small unnoticed deeds done in love, in misjudgment suffered quietly and without retaliation.  The holiest of all events, after all, took place in the hidden quiet of night, and was made manifest “in the semblance of the gardner”:

“On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realised the new wonder; but even they hardly realised that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn."
                                          ~G.K. Chesterton: The Everlasting Man
- Sister M. Anastasia, FSGM

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