Monday, March 28, 2005

Love Alive

Early this month, I spent two days and six or seven hours in a workshop with Kathleen Norris. She is one of my favorite authors. Her non-fiction work contains reflections on religious themes. One of the many assignments Norris gave the class was to take a religious word and explain it using an experience of our life. In essence we were to take the "churchy" elements out and make our word definitions autobiographical story.

I chose two words. I used Baptism and Resurrection. With the birth of our second child immanent, I suppose my thoughts were reflecting on the birth of our son. Here is what I wrote.

Baptism & Resurrection
He was alive but not yet born. Alive because with technology we could see that he was a he. Baptism is the birth of a life already inspired – a breathless conception. Baptism is a form of birth or re-birth. Life conceived becomes life alive. I suppose that resurrection is also a form of re-immersion. Baptism births resurrection into a new life not bottled by death.

To see my son born was a moment of joy that made visible the consummation of my joy.
Love alive.
Love visible.
Love brand new.

Some day this baby boy will be baptized – a form of resurrecting his birth. Life becomes Death becomes Life. Some day his body will be raised. Resurrection is the glorified completion of his birth and re-birth. It is the full completion of his recreation – a divine glorification.

How's Your World?

"There are Christians who have hysterical reactions,
as if the world would have slipped out of God's hands.
They act violenty as if they were risking everything.

But we believe in history;
the world is not a roll of the dice going toward chaos.
A new world has begun to happen since Christ has risen. . .

Jesus Christ, we rejoice in your definitive triumph . . .
with our bodies still in the breach
and our souls in tension,
we cry out our first "Hurrah!"
till eternity unfolds itself.

Your sorrow now has passed.
Your enemies have failed.
You are a definitive smile for humankind.

What matter the wait now for us?
We accept the struggle and the death;
because you, our love, will not die!

We march behind you,
on the road to the future.
You are with us
and you are our immortality!

Take away the sadness from our faces.
We are not in a game of chance . . .
You have the last word!

Beyond the crushing of our bones,
now has begun the eternal "alleluia!"
From the thousand openings of our wounded bodies
and souls there arises now a triumphal song!

So, teach us to give voice to your new life
throughout all the world.

Because you dry the tears from the eyes
of the oppressed forever . . .
and death will disappear. . ."

Jesuit Father Luis Espinal was assassinated March 22, 1980 in La Paz, Bolivia by paramilitary forces. He wrote this meditation shortly before his death. (from pages 332-333 of "A Guide to Prayer" by Upper Room, 1983)