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The Face of the Transfigured Christ


When I used to be sixteen years outdated, and residential sick from college for per week, I requested my mom to activate the tv for me earlier than she left to do an errand. She put it on EWTN and I didn’t have the power to stand up and switch the channel. (Being a young person I used to be searching for one thing extra engaging!) A preferred priest’s present got here on and he talked in regards to the Good Shepherd, then stated: “Are you a pacesetter or a follower? If you’re a pacesetter, the place are you main your flock?” Following his present, the film “Divine Mercy: No Escape” got here on and I used to be enthralled by Saint Faustina’s life, notably her charity towards these in want. 

Then, this loopy concept popped into my head: Am I referred to as to be a nun? It was shortly earlier than I attended World Youth Day (WYD) 1993 in Denver and I secretly wakened a bit of sooner than regular for varsity each morning to ask God to indicate me. God works in methods which are each mysterious and mischievous. One of the WYD catechetical talks I attended was by the identical priest that I noticed on EWTN. He gave a fiery speak about vocations and the heroism of the martyrs. At the tip there was an altar name; youth who believed that they could be referred to as to the priesthood or consecrated life went ahead. I don’t keep in mind my ft touching the bottom, however was quickly on the stage with dozens of different younger folks. God’s grace flooded into my soul and I used to be actually trembling. Later, a lady who was sitting behind me in the course of the speak stated that she was praying for me to be baptized within the Holy Spirit.

Recently, after I was reflecting upon the Feast of the Transfiguration, I recalled this occasion. It made me marvel if that is how the apostles felt after they noticed the “nice gentle” and had been stuffed with “nice worry.” In his new ebook Meditations on the Holy Rosary, Father Dolindo Ruotolo describes the theophany:

“The nice gentle had not but totally woke up the Apostles, and Peter talked in a silly manner, however after they noticed a cloud enveloping Jesus, Moses and Elijah, possibly for the very sudden distinction between the extraordinary gentle and the shadow of the cloud, they wakened totally, and had been taken by an incredible worry, as a result of in that cloud the Father appeared pointing solemnly to the Son as Teacher of mankind. A solemn voice got here from it that stated: ‘This is my beloved Son, take heed to Him.’”

How usually will we take heed to Jesus, particularly in these moments in life when issues don’t make sense and we’re afraid?

In his inspiring story, Testimony of Hope: The Spiritual Exercises of Pope John Paul II, Venerable Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan (1928-2002), a Vietnamese Cardinal, recalled his expertise of spending 13 years in a Communist jail. From the start of his confinement, Cardinal Van Thuan’s main concern was whether or not or not he would be capable to have fun Mass. Though he was not in a position to convey something with him when he was arrested, Cardinal Van Thuan was allowed to jot down to his household for requirements. He requested them for medication for a abdomen ache. They realized that Cardinal Van Thuan needed wine to have fun Mass and despatched him some in a bottle marked “medication for abdomen ache”; additionally they hid hosts in along with his garments. Cardinal Van Thuan mirrored:

I shall by no means be capable to categorical my pleasure: every single day I celebrated Mass with three drops of wine and certainly one of water within the palm of my hand. Every day I used to be in a position to kneel earlier than the Cross with Jesus, drink with him his most bitter chalice. Every day, when reciting the consecration, I confirmed with all my coronary heart and with all my soul a brand new pact, an everlasting pact between Jesus and me, by his Blood combined with mine. They had been essentially the most stunning lots of my life.

A darkish and seemingly determined state of affairs was transfigured by the illuminating energy of Christ’s presence and reworking love.

When Cardinal Van Thuan was later despatched to a re-education camp, he and 5 Catholic prisoners organized it in order that they bunked close to one another. Cardinal Van Thuan celebrated Mass at the hours of darkness and gave them Communion beneath the mosquito internet. He recounted “I at all times carried the Eucharistic Christ within the pocket of my shirt.” During the breaks between indoctrination classes, Cardinal Van Thuan secretly and reverently handed the Holy Eucharist to different teams of prisoners.

They all knew Jesus was amongst them, and he cures all bodily and psychological sufferings. At night time, the prisoners took turns at Adoration. The Eucharistic Christ helps in an unimaginable manner along with his silent presence: many Catholics started to consider once more enthusiastically. Their testimony of service and love made an ever larger affect on the opposite prisoners, even some Buddhists and non-Christians embraced the religion. Jesus’ power is irresistible. The darkness of the jail grew to become a paschal gentle.

Cardinal Van Thuan continued, explaining: “Jesus started a revolution on the cross. The revolution of the civilization of affection should start within the Eucharist; and from right here it should derive its power.” Later, he elucidated:

I’ll finish with a dream; in it, the Roman Curia is sort of a massive host, within the coronary heart of the Church, which is sort of a nice Cenacle. All of us are like grains of wheat that permit themselves to be floor by the exigencies of communion to type just one physique, in full solidarity and full dedication, as bread of life for the world, as an indication of hope for humanity. Only one bread and just one physique.

These phrases are harking back to St. Ignatius of Antioch’s letter, the place he writes “I’m the wheat of God and am floor by the tooth of the wild beasts, that I could also be discovered the pure bread of Christ.” Known because the “Doctor of Unity,” St. Ignatius wrote extensively on union with Christ and the members of His Church. Today, when our world and Church are torn by so many divisions, we have to come collectively across the Sacrament of Unity to as soon as once more be transfigured, recall our identification as a Church, and share the radiance of the Eucharistic Face of Christ. As Father Dolindo Ruotolo wrote, 

Jesus prayed, and His transfiguration makes us perceive what needed to be His prayer. Literally illuminated by His infinite love for His Father, totally enraptured in His glory, His face shone with divine gentle, and this very intense gentle made all His garments totally white. It was essentially the most chic of all ecstasies; it was the Word that gave glory to His Father and loved His Father’s infinite love taking his assumed humanity within the splendor of His glory and the perfume of His love; it was the Word erupting, so to talk, from His assumed humanity, rendering it nearly diaphanous with gentle going by His physique, and illuminating it. (Meditations on the Holy Rosary)

As we prostrate ourselves in awe with the apostles, could we even be conscious of Jesus’ phrases: “Get up and don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 17:7) Our Lord provides us these mountain prime experiences – like His finest associates Peter, James, and John – to arrange us for what He is looking us to do. As Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, wrote:

The certainty with which the identification of consecrated life is outlined is subsequently stunning, [it is the] ‘icon of the transfigured Christ’ (Vita consecrata, 14) which reveals the glory and the face of the Father within the luminous splendor of the Spirit . . . . Supreme magnificence, the sacrament of the mysterious fantastic thing about the Eternal One. As Peter exclaimed on Tabor earlier than that burst of sunshine and splendor.” (“Witnesses to the Beauty of God: The Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata 25 Years later”)



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