Sunday, August 06, 2006


Liturgy is the architecture for grace.

It is the structure within which I open my heart and receive God each week.

Today I sat in a very warm church and when the priest began the Eucharist, I imagined, for a moment, the angels and archangels, the whole heavenly host, smiling down at us. Applauding, even. Cheering, like fans at an olympic event. Rooting for us.

Today is the feast of the Transfiguration. It is one of the strangest and most wonderful stories of the bible. Jesus becomes luminous. He becomes the veil through which the light of God shines and illuminates the world.

I really can't remember what life was like before becoming a Christian.

4 comments:

Iohannes Michahel said...

How odd, Rachel, for some reason I have always thought the Western churches celebrated the Transfiguration on a different day in the calendar: I don’t know why. I do know it came late the West, and is only a second class feast. In the East it has always been a solemn holy day, with a vigil, an octave and fast; it is one of the Twelve Great Feasts, of such importance it supplants the Sunday office entirely when it falls on one.

This is because of the Transfiguration didn’t occur (and yes, we utterly believe in its historicity) simply to establish Christ’s divinity prior to the Passion, so that the disciples would know that it was a voluntary act and to bolster their courage for the ordeal (the fact that Peter could see this, deny Christ anyway, then write about later in his Epistles is just one of the many reasons I have no use for mythological readings of the NT), and to foreshadow the glory of His Resurrection: The Transfiguration reveals to us the full potential of human nature. The Lord on Tabor “in his person showed them the nature of man, arrayed in the original beauty of the Image” (from the Great Vespers). We all our called to regain this beauty through theosis: We all are called to make ourselves worthy to see the Light of Christ in this life, and be transfigured.

Anyway, to make a long ramble short, it’s not just a “strange and wonderful story,” Rachel, if you look at it with non-Western eyes: It is one of the most crucial. There is a very nice essay here:
http://www.marquette.edu/maqom/Macmetho.html

Pax,
John

PS: glad your business is doing well

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Thanks for this comment, John!

I agree that the Transfiguration is crucial.

You write:

We all our called to regain this beauty through theosis: We all are called to make ourselves worthy to see the Light of Christ in this life, and be transfigured.

Part of this is to grow to be able to see the light of Christ in each other, too, I think. In fact, that may be, for me, the greatest challenge of all, LOL.

We catch glimpses of Christ in each other, sometimes, but so often the veil covers our eyes.

Iohannes Michahel said...

"We catch glimpses of Christ in each other, sometimes, but so often the veil covers our eyes."

Far more often, there is no veil, Rachel. The Holy Spirit dwells in each of us, continuously calling us to our supernatural adoption; yet we are free to refuse the call.
They carry a veil of their own making.

Iohannes Michahel said...

Oopa, I should proof read. "there is no veil," "they carry a veil" and why don't I make up my mind? :-)

I just mean to say, do not blame yourself automatically if you do not see Christ in others.