Saturday, February 10, 2018


Tomorrow's Gospel describes the transfiguration of Christ on the mountain, in which "Christ, like the sun, too bright to look upon, reveals his luminous power by the fresh colours he awakens in the wide garden of the world." (Farrer, Saving Belief)

With that in mind, you might like this, from First Things via Rod Dreher:

The glory of Christ on Mount Tabor embodies a joy that is unspeakable. In order words, the transformation of human affections impacts bodily states, causing a change in countenance. There is a radiance on the face of the joyous that pulls out the beauty of the divine image, which lays buried underneath the veils of the passions. If holiness concerns reintegrated and redirected emotion and desire so that perfect love reigns in the heart, then it creates a joy that alters human existence. The transfiguration symbolizes the Psalmist’s admonition to taste the Lord and see that he is good. Every moment of joy is but a foretaste of that deeper bliss, and it breaks through in serendipitous ways as C. S. Lewis discovered.
The transfiguration, then, symbolizes the life to come and thus the goal of ascetic pursuit. It reminds the believer that the vision of God unfolds amidst the splendor of holiness while also pointing toward the way in which the final movement to ecstatic wonder is always grace-filled and joy-laden. It is the sudden burst of divine light as when Helios peaks over the horizon casting his rays on all creation so that the world glows in the golden haze of dawn, translucent and transformed.

I like that a lot but bear in mind that the transfiguration isn't something stupid, like a reworking of the mithraic cult of Sol Invictus, a "cleverly devised myth."

On the contrary, the symbol exists because of the event as opposed to the other way around. As St. Peter reminds us, he was an "eyewitness" on the "holy mountain."

God bless,



Adrienne said...

Have a wonderful transfiguring Sunday, LSP.

LL said...

It's good to recall through the eyes of others. This is the point too. It can still be a subjective experience with a first person effect, best received through fasting and prayer.

LSP said...

It went well, Adrienne! Lots of students from Baylor turned up, encouragingly.

LSP said...

That's an excellent point, LL, and I don't say that lightly.

Fasting and prayer drives out demons.