Yesterday was the Feast of St. John of the Cross.
We continue some reflections from this great spiritual teacher.
John spoke of the ‘via negativa’, or the path of darkness, as a way to greater union with God.
Spiritual teacher, Beverly Lanzetta, reflects on the path of darkness as a way to greater union with God. She calls it a ‘pregnant place from which one gives birth to Christ, a theology of gestation’.
Just like a mother does not control the colour of the hair, eyes, etc. of the child, but waits in expectation, we also wait upon the Lord. It is not us who are in control in the spiritual life. It is God. We surrender in faith and trust to God who is love.
Contemplation and meditation are not about mastering a technique in the Christian life. Proper preparation for payer is good and helpful, of course, however meditation is about being transformed into a more compassionate person. We pray not to become mystics, but to be more authentic Christians who embody the love of Christ in the world.
John of the Cross uses the analogy of light coming through a window. The light comes through the glass from the sun. The glass does not produce the light. However, clear glass allows more light to come through.
As we grow in our Christian life, it is as if the window disappears and Christ’s light is allowed to shine more clearly without being obstructed.
Christian spirituality is not about becoming a ‘spiritual athlete’ or an esoteric ‘guru’. It is about union with a loving God who loves us first and keeps on inviting us into a deeply loving relationship.
In the history of the Church and beyond, there have been many spiritualities that went off on a tangent.
We need to stay within the embrace of the Christian family.
However, within that embrace the Lord continues to call us to have fresh wine in fresh wineskins.
God keeps surprising us. We are like John the Baptist preparing the way for the Lord for each other.
We continue to journey from death to life in Christ. Passion, death, and resurrection.