Friday, December 01, 2006

Stumbling at the cross

Still, I stumble at the cross.

I meditate. I read scriptures. I receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist (when my conscience is clear.)

Still, I stumble at the cross.

I pour out the best to the Blushing Bride and Fine young Fool. I give everything I can to the students and stories I serve. I love my neighbor as myself as best I can. Which means it's not nearly what they deserve some days, or far better on others!

Still, I stumble at the cross.


Because I don't want to believe.

I don't want to believe pain happens. I don't want to believe that people understand right from wrong in their gut and choose wrong nevertheless. I don't want to believe the suffering I've endured from others' sickness and sin.

Who among us does?

I stumble most at the cross when I fight acceptance of it all.

Christ, innocent of all sin, choose our guilt as his own. Christ, the Almighty Word of God, chose to become one helpless man. Christ, the Life, chose to lay his down.

Why would I not accept that?

Because I need to accept my own crucifixion to do so. And I don't want to.

Many of us don't want to.

And yet, in what way will our innocent suffering make any sense. In what other context may we find redemption from our guilt, and the suffering our own consequences bring?

How can we face the fundamental reality of our fallen world if we won't experience the mystery of the passion in our very being?

We can't. Life will continue to be an unbearable paradox. Beauty will coexist with ugliness, peace with violence, life with death, in that most maddening of cyclical contradiction. We will never rest from it. Most frightening of all, the suffering from which we seek to escape never ends. Sooner or later, we can't run or hide from it anymore.

We can't experience the mystery of Resurrection if we don't except the mystery of crucifixion. Yes, it hurts. It even kills. It does not end us. Christ assures us of that through his own eternal life.

Still, I stumble at the cross.

But I don't have to.

None of us do.

Labels: , ,