Detail, two hands, Bridget Braybrooks
If you have Flash Player installed then press the play button that is shown to start (a prayer bowl will sound once), to still yourself. I am here, this is now. (you may wish to check your volume settings!)
“It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.” Acts 24:21
Late have I loved you,
O Beauty so ancient and so new,
late have I loved you!
You were within me, but I was outside,
and it was there that I searched for you.
In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
A comedy of errors
There is something comical about this piece. Sad too perhaps. I think of the cartoon cat Tom searching desperately for Jerry the mouse. Beyond. Outside. Not with. Anywhere but here, now and under our nose. I think it was Rowan Williams who maintained that we journey to where we are. It seems to take time to catch up with ourselves, with the true self that is wrapped in God at its core; present, alive and active now, incarnated. We might call it becoming comfortable in our own skin.
During Lent we may think of our unloveliness of thoughts and ways, as Augustine puts it, and also of the 'Beauty so ancient and new' that renews us. We are also encouraged to believe that the place of our resurrection is our own body ('you were within me'), our own self as it receives and embraces the true self, wrapped in, and one with, the true God.
Press the play button again to end your reflection: with the receding sound take down into your centre (where Christ indwells) an image or phrase that has surfaced for you.
Often in the early Celtic Church pilgrimmage was undertaken towards the end of life, or as a quest in the journey through life, in order to find what was so beautifully termed the pilgrim's 'place of resurrection'.
Contemporary rendering of Doubting Thomas, based on Caravaggio, found at The Crossroads Initiative
The purpose of Lent is to prepare us to receive reconciliation and new life. Beth Bevis
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