“Master, it is good for us to be here…” (Luke 9:33 NRSV).
The Transfiguration is probably among the best examples of Contemplative Prayer and Mysticism we can get. What greater mystic experience could we desire to contemplate than Jesus illuminated in all God’s glory? To be completely detached from everything on earth and let everything else go. To find ourselves there with Peter, James and John to experience the voice that declares that Jesus is the Beloved; would be something that we might be able to put contemplative prayer into descriptive words.
Like Contemplative Prayer and Mysticism; the Transfiguration is beyond explanation. They are beyond our human comprehension. It may bring us into a vision of God that no one can begin to describe. However, the mystery of God’s glorious Presence that we are to contemplate doesn’t leave us with an experience of emotional ecstasy that never goes away. God cannot be limited to one moment in time. God is present everywhere, reaching out to us and inviting us into a deeper relationship with God’s Holy Spirit. When we let go and by faith trust in God alone; everything that we thought made us who we are and what we do; becomes the Presence of God working in and through us.
“It is indeed good to be here, as you have said, Peter. It is good to be with Jesus and to remain here for ever. What greater happiness or higher honor could we have than to be with God, to be made like him and to live in his light?” (By Anastasius of Sinai, The Liturgy of the Hours: Volume IV, p.1286).
“Let them prefer nothing to Christ” (Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter 72).
Can you say with all your heart that it is good for you to be with God in the here and now?
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB