Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, April 20, 2011
[ Wed in Holy Week {Christian} ]
[ 2nd day of Passover {Jewish} ]

Someday, after we have mastered the winds,
the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness
for God the energies of love. Then for the second
time in the history of the world, we will have
discovered fire.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

For some years, as a monk, I lived across the Hudson river from the great (900 rooms!) Jesuit novitiate in Hyde Park NY. Once or twice, I wandered over there – after the place had been sold and become the CIA (Culinary Institute of America). The Jesuits left ….. but they didn’t take their dead fellow Jesuits; they are buried behind an iron gate, amongst the tall grass. Having read many of Teilhard’s poems, I sat for an hour and thought.

I don’t for a minute think that Fr. de Chardin wanted us all to have to wait so long for the flash of the kindling of the Second Fire! The “winds, the waves, the tides and gravity” are great Mysteries; perhaps we will one day have “mastered” them ….. but I doubt it.

But de Chardin understood that the nature of Love, as a primal force of Being, anchored as the others do the Mystery of Life on this Earth. The four lead us to the wonder of Aliveness; the One – Love – leads us to the Meaning of being Human, and offers us the gift of transcendent Freedom.

Holy Week is leading us into the Mystery of the Cross and Resurrection. There is no part of this Week that is not about Love. Every question one can ask about all the events of Holy Week ~ the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, the challenge to the debased Temple trade, the scene of Jesus search for clarity in Gethsemane, the arrest and trial and insults, the crucifixion, the burial, and the empty tomb ~ all have only one purpose: the honouring of Love as the surest path to Peace and to the deepest flowering of the great Mystery of being Alive.

The World today is drenched in suffering and death. It is not the first time and it will not be the last. One can have many reactions to it all. I fluctuate among many, but I try to keep one at the center: that it is a moment for the Second Fire to burst forth. Politics, economics, technology, science, religion – none of these will create a World in which the Human Community will thrive. Not without Love. Not without the kind of Love that Jesus lived. St. Paul wisely said that only three things last ….. and the greatest is Love.

This Wednesday in Holy Week, I am encouraged to try and fan the embers of that Second Fire, that we all may live together in Unity.


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