For we are born in the present only to be reborn in the future. Our attachment, therefore, should not be to the transitory; instead, we must be intent upon the eternal. Let us think of how divine grace has transformed our earthly natures so that we may contemplate more closely our heavenly hope. We hear the Apostle say: You are dead and your life is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ your life appears, then you will also appear in glory with him, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen. (By St. Leo the Great, The Liturgy of the Hours, Volume III, Ordinary Time Weeks 1-17, p.192).
If there is one thing that I have been learning throughout my Novitiate that has had a powerful impact on me, is how much I cling to my false-sense of self. It is something we all do to some degree. The false-sense of self contains our “need” to be comforted, approved of, to be right all the time, to insist that others must like me, be treated the way I like to be treated, and to have control over everything and anything. Our false-sense of self is also where all of our thoughts are. The thoughts of things, places, people, events, ideologies, pride, our need to possess things and more. Our false-sense of self also contains our high expectations of ourselves and others around us. Within our false-sense of self is also the notion that if I live by the labels that others place upon me, I will find self acceptance and the acceptance of others.
In this reading from St. Leo today, we are invited to contemplate the eternal hope we have in our Loving God. The labels, possessions, pride, theologies, events are all temporary and passing away. They do not contain the reality of who we are, and for Whom we are created and redeemed. In the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our real life is hidden in the bosom of God’s unconditional love and boundless mercy. Our true-sense of self is forgiven and restored by God’s grace. The true and eternal hope that we are invited to contemplate today, is union with God. A union that is not found in comfortable feelings or the praise of human words, but by faith in God with thanksgiving, adoration and praise.
May we contemplate the heavenly hope we have in Jesus Christ today, and pray for one another in our journey of faith.
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB