Meeting Christ In His Mysteries

SPIRITUALITY: Divine Presents, The Sacramental Mysteries—The Sacramental Mystery of Baptism by Gregory Collins

November 11, 2017

From Meeting Christ in His Mysteries O useful element and clear! My sacred wash and cleanser here, My first consigner unto those Fountains of life, where the Lamb goes! What sublime truths and wholesome themes, Lodge in thy mystical, deep streams! Such as dull man can never find Unless that Spirit lead his mind, Which first upon thy face did move, And hatched all with his quick’ning love. (Henry Vaughan) In holy scripture this mystery has such an overwhelming significance that a great variety of images and metaphors are used to describe it such as illumination (Ephesians 5:8), rebirth and renewal (2 Titus 3:5), and clothing with Christ (Galatians 3:27).  One of the most suggestive images, the one which has most influenced [...]

SPIRITUALITY: Divine Presents, The Sacramental Mysteries—The Sacramental Mystery of Holy Scripture, by Gregory Collins

September 23, 2017

From Meeting Christ in His Mysteries The fathers, with the light of faith to guide them, saw everywhere – in the law, the prophets, the acts of Old Testament kings and saints, here more clearly, there less – the figure of Jesus, glowing in the half-darkness, until it emerges in the gospel’s brightness.  What the ancients gradually and wearily came to was as clear as noonday when the world’s own light shone: the keys to all mysteries were in Christ; when this unfailing instrument, the Key of David, is put to the explaining of scripture, the whole beauty, depth, and clarity of Christian allegory is seen for what it really is in the liturgy.  Its heart is the redeeming work of Christ and everything we read and pray in these [...]

SPIRITUALITY: Divine Presents—The Sacramental Mysteries, Introduction by Gregory Collins

September 2, 2017

From Meeting Christ in His Mysteries In this sacramental dispensation of Christ’s mystery, the Holy Spirit acts in the same way as at other times in the economy of salvation: he prepares the church to encounter her Lord; he recalls and makes Christ manifest to the faith of the assembly.  By his transforming power he makes the mystery of Christ present here and now.  Christian liturgy not only recalls the events that saved us but actualizes them, makes them present.  The paschal mystery of Christ is celebrated, not repeated.  It is the celebrations that are repeated, and in each celebration there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that makes the unique mystery present. (Odo Casel) According to the clear testimony of scripture [...]

SPIRITUALITY: Gazing Into The Mystery Of Christ’s Saving Work by Gregory Collins

August 20, 2017

From Meeting Christ in His Mysteries Yet it is not to be understood that the Father was ever angry toward him. For how could he be angry toward his beloved Son, “in whom he was well pleased”? (John Calvin) Christ brought the idea of God’s humility to its ultimate limit: God, entering into the world, casts off the image of his glory and puts on the image of his creation (see Philippians 2:6-8).  He subordinates himself to the laws of creaturely life.  He does not violate the world order.  Nor does he strike the world with lightning or deafen it with thunder, as pagans thought (recall the myth of Zeus and Semele).  He only burns like a meek light before the world, drawing to himself his sinful and weary creation, not [...]

SPIRITUALITY: Deepening Insights Into The Mystery Of Divine Persons by Gregory Collins

July 17, 2017

From Meeting Christ in His Mysteries Still greater depths are contained in the revealed mystery of Christ but to sound them one must turn to later New Testament letters such as Ephesians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus.  Although as we have seen, they are probably not directly from Paul’s hand they do represent the expansion and consolidation of his teaching within the wider circle of his disciples and have always been recognized by the churches as authentically “Pauline” in the sense that their authors deepened and developed his ideas.  Since we are not concerned with the process by which the New Testament reached its final form but with how the finished product operates in the church, I shall follow the [...]

SPIRITUALITY: God’s Presence To The World—The Mystery’s Many Modes by Gregory Collins

July 1, 2017

From Meeting Christ in His Mysteries It is important to be aware of the difference between the word mystery as it is used in the New Testament, the liturgy, and theology, and the meaning it tends to have in contemporary culture.  When, for example, we speak of reading a “murder mystery,” our natural assumption is that at the end of the book the complexities of the plot will be resolved and we will discover who committed the murder and why they did it.  All obscurity will be ended and the mystery will disappear in the clear light of knowledge.  Nothing could be less true of mystery as that word is used in the Bible and in Christian worship.  A text from Christmas which we sing in our monastery liturgy illustrates this well: [...]

SPIRITUALITY: The Mystery Of Christ Unveiled by Gregory Collins

June 17, 2017

From Meeting Christ in His Mysteries The man Jesus has risen up to name above all names, he was crushed in the flesh of sin, bore the form of a servant, was obedient to death; he became Kyrios (Lord), pneuma (Spirit).  He is, then, the same Lord who walked unnoticed and persecuted through the fields of Palestine and at last ended his life like a criminal on the cross; now he rules the world as king and the church is his bride.  All his life, beginning in the Virgin’s womb, is the great mystery of salvation, hidden from eternity in God and now revealed in the ecclesia (church).  The deeds of his lowliness in that life on Earth, his miserable death on Calvary appear now in a different light: God’s own light; they are [...]

SPIRITUALITY: In The Beginning Was The Trinity…, by Gregory Collins

June 10, 2017

From Meeting Christ in his Mysteries (Introduction) Christ’s whole Earthly life – his words and deeds, his silences and sufferings, indeed his manner of being and speaking – is revelation of the Father.  Christ’s whole life is a mystery of redemption.  Redemption comes to us above all through the blood of his cross, but this mystery is at work throughout Christ’s entire life. (Catechism of the Catholic Church) What was visible in our Redeemer has passed over into the sacramental mysteries. (Pope Saint Leo the Great) The mysteries of Christ are our mysteries. (Blessed Columba Marmion) These quotations introduce the guiding idea of this book: the mystery of Christ through which we are called into union with God [...]