I can no longer believe in any kind of external God who will shrink my tumour just because I bombard him with prayers, pilgrimages, sacrifices and repeated religious routines. But I believe more and more in the indwelling Holy Spirit who is the love-energy of whatever I’m called to endure, to suffer, to accept and to be transformed by. As you read these pages of personal meditation you will notice this recurring insight as I try to cope as best I can with my current situation. The key to so much of our dis-ease, our wisest religions insist, is that we want life to be other than the way it is, “Wisdom begins”, wrote Jean Vanier, “when we stop wanting to fight the reality of the present as if it should not exist, and start to accept it as it is”. As I’m swiftly learning to my cost, the secret of Christianity, too, is to learn how to live as one with the daily unfolding of what happens. No more, no less. Rather than asking for miracles from above, my prayer now must be about how to gladly accept what is happening in the here and now. This insight, in Buddhist teaching too, is on the Noble Truths about how to lessen our suffering.
As these reflections flow in and out of my consciousness, I can’t help wondering how these thoughts affect my current darkness and fear. The nearest I can get to some kind of peace is to continue surrendering whole-heartedly to that all-embracing Reality, that river of love, that God beyond God, that whole divine milieu that holds and caresses everything that lives, everything that grows, everything that keeps happening at every second of evolution: personal and universal.
Richard Rohr reminds us that this kind of total trust is achieved through a moment by moment choice and surrender. This reminder always gives me hope. Total trust takes time. Too often we think that the grace of sacramental vision, of the new way of seeing, of the desired intimacy with God, comes suddenly and then stays with us. In a sense that is true; all we have to do is to become aware of this sublime gift. But awareness takes time. God’s incarnate grace is, in a sense, bound by the laws, times and tempo of an evolving and developing Creation.
St Paul mentions the light of God’s eyes that we try to reflect each day until, after much practice, we begin to become the light itself. Ours is an Incarnation-inspired spirituality. It has its own timing. We awaken slowly from the sleep of our limited conditioning to know the transforming potential that is latent within us all. A huge problem is that this rude awakening usually comes with an All-Mighty and tragic shock. If this is true, does it make you desire to take your life really seriously before being forced to do so when the bad times come?
Dancing to my death with the love called cancer. The last masterpiece from the bestselling author Daniel O’Leary
This book was written when Fr Daniel O’Leary was dying. I bought the book because I had watched some of the Astonishing Secret which is a book and a video. Coming to Dancing to my death – I found it very heavy but the chapters are short and often quote other writers and has also stories in it. It is well worth reading and I am sure you can get the feeling from this 26th chapter that what I say is true. Carmen
The only begotten Son of God, wishing to enable us to share in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that by becoming man he might make us gods.
Moreover, he turned the whole of our nature, which he assumed, to our salvation. For he offered his body to God the Father on the altar of the cross as a sacrifice for our reconciliation; and he shed his blood for our ransom and our cleansing, so that we might be redeemed from wretched captivity and cleansed from all sins.
Now in order that we might always keep the memory of this great act of love, he left his body as food and his blood as drink, to be received by the faithful under the appearances of bread and wine.
How precious and how wonderful is this banquet, which brings us salvation and is full of all delight! What could be more precious? It is not the meat of calves or kids that is offered, as happened under the Old Law; at this meal Christ, the true God, is set before us for us to eat. What could be more wonderful than this sacrament?
No sacrament contributes more to our salvation than this; for it purges away our sins, increases our virtues, and nourishes our minds with an abundance of all spiritual gifts.
It is offered in the Church for the living and the dead, so that it may be beneficial to all, as it was instituted for the salvation of all.
Finally, no one is capable of expressing the delight of this sacrament, through which the sweetness of the Spirit is tasted at its source, and the memory is celebrated of that surpassing love which Christ showed in his passion.
And so, in order to imprint the immensity of this love more deeply in the hearts of the faithful, at the Last Supper, when the Lord had celebrated the Pasch with his disciples and was about to pass from this world to his Father, he instituted this sacrament as a perpetual memorial of his passion. It fulfilled the types of the Old Law; it was the greatest of the miracles he worked; and he left it as a unique consolation to those who were desolate at his departure.
This reading is from the works of St Thomas Aquinas OPUS 57,1-4