God's vision and power for transformation
"Seeing the mystic immobile, crucified or rapt in prayer, some may perhaps think that his activity is in abeyance or has left this earth: they are mistaken. Nothing in the world is more intensely alive and active than purity and prayer, which hang like an unmoving light between the universe and God. Through their serene transparency flow the waves of creative power, charged with natural virtue and grace." (from Teilhard de Chardin, Hymn of the Universe)
As written in Wikepedia, "The Migration period, also called the Barbarian Invasions or Völkerwanderung (German: wandering of the peoples), was a period of human migration that occurred roughly between the years 300 to 700 CE in Europe, marking the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages". Historians attribute the salvation of Europe from these plundering barbaric races and the subsequent rebuilt of western civilization through the influence and activity of monastic communities.
Historian Mc Neill, William H., in A World History wrote that "In a violent and barbarous age, communities of monks, devoted to the service of God, were small islands of calm in a stormy world. Especially in the Latin West, monasteries became the main institution that preserved a minimum of intellectual culture during what are often called the Dark Ages".
What about monasticism that precisely brought this about? The way of life of the monks resulted in the gradual, yet massive transformation of European society economically, culturally and religiously after the fall of the Roman Empire. It is general knowledge, as Woods Jr, Thomas E, Ph. D. wrote in How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization , that "the monks preserved the literary inheritance of the ancient world, not to mention literacy itself, in the aftermath of the fall of Rome".
But the impetus of this movement was attributed not primarily to the outward ministry but rather to the essential vocation of the monks in the monastic community. And this vocation is the singular dedication to a life of union with God. It accounted for the overflow of effective power in their labor that produced the kind of results that both arrest the decay and effect the restoration of western civilization. O'Connor, John B., O.P. , in Monasticism and Civilization wrote:
"Consequently, we must not judge the civilizing influence of the monks, the tremendous thing they did for society and humanity, as though they were the works of professional humanitarian whose lives were dedicated to these achievement in the execution of which they were but following a profession in which they had been carefully trained.
Had the monks contributed nothing to the reconstruction of society, to the advancement of civilization, to the material betterment of the world, they could not justly have been deemed deserving of censure. Such was not their vocation nor their sphere of life. For this reason it adds immediately to the credit and fame of their glorious accomplishments that they assumed these tasks gratuitously, purely from a supernaturalized love of their fellow-men."
The Heart of Mysticism
That this is God' vision and strategy for the world is very much rooted in the way God has acted through the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Fr. John Fuellenbach, SVD , who spent most of his life as theologian reflecting on the vision of Christ stated in The Reign of God: the mission of the Church that there are two basic things the Lord is on fire or passionate about: revealing God as Father and proclaiming the reign of God.
This obsession for the Father's business may be seen early in the life of the Lord as recounted in the infancy narrative. When he was lost and subsequently found by his parents and questioned about his whereabouts he responded by saying: "Didn't you know that I am about my Father's business". And all throughout his life he demonstrated that his business is to be with the Father, to listen to him and to simply do the will of the Father.
In the life of the Lord we see that intimacy with the Father is bound up with passion for his reign; they are inseparable, yet the manner of his reign always proceeds from his intimacy with the Father. It is not an agenda that he pursued independent of the Father's love. The essence of the Christian life is seen in the example of the Lord's relationship with the Father and the Father's mission for him. "I do nothing on my own; I only do what I see the Father doing."
This example of the Lord is most closely and clearly manifested in the monastic vocation and in the individual lives of the mystics. This can best be described as passion or obsession for God. The saint, man or woman of God, the mystic, what they all have in common is oneness with God and obedience to His will in everything.
How Mysticism Benefits the World
Mysticism has two practical consequences for the world. Life of union with God preserves the world from corruption and destruction. This is illustrated in the Old Testament story of Abraham and Lot, wherein Abraham ...
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Living Faith News
- C-section leaves mom fighting for life over dreaded flesh-eating virus
- Pope Francis tells world's leaders to abandon 'cult of money'
- Saint Cyril of Alexandria Reminds Us: The Holy Spirit Helps Us to Live a New Kind of Life
- Women, Behold Our Mother
- Pope Francis canonizes over 800 new saints
- Transubstantiation: Bulwark Defending the 'Is' of Jesus
- GOSNELL GUILTY!
- When Death Arrives, Will You Say Joyfully: O Death, Where is Thy Sting?
- Why Pope Francis Doesn't Give Communion
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?