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The Essence of the Ascension – Weird and Wonderful

Okay, it’s true, Catholics believe some radical things. Take the Ascension, for one. We profess that Jesus not only rose from the dead, but also went bodily to a supernatural place that we call Heaven. His risen body is glorified, we believe, able to eat, walk, withstand probing, and all the other things that a normal body can do – but also able to pass through walls and bear a deadly wound without death or bleeding. And, now, Jesus, in all that he is, both human and divine, abides bodily… somewhere… some where that isn’t exactly here… or there… somewhere from which he will return… somewhere which we hope to be. This is the Catholic Christian faith. And it does rather seem all too fantastic to be true.

But, then again, have you heard about quarks? Dark matter? Dark energy? The world which we take to be solid and true is too wonderful to comprehend in its entirety or even in the entirety of its smallest part… for what is its smallest part? We would know nothing of the existence of, say, subatomic particles if a privileged few people hadn’t “seen” them and then told us about them. Tales of whitedwarfs and blackholes sound like mere tall tales indeed, but the small percentage of our population, called scientists, are intelligent and fervent in their telling of them. And we accept. We have not seen the proof and, even if we did, most of us would not be able to understand the “proof” – but, we believe.

Life is profoundly complex and marvelously weird. We would be arrogant to think that everything in existence can fit into our limited brains. There is so much more than what we know, so much more than what we can imagine…. The myriad clusters of stars and sweep of galaxies in the night sky are as beautiful to my eyes as the exuberant profusion of blue forget-me-nots in the garden beneath my window. Sometimes, I may think that the superabundance of suns and planets in the universe renders the specially-intended and divinely-loved existence of human beings into a myth. Yet… is it a myth, a fairytale, that the superabundance of apple blossoms blooming only rarely yield forth a tree? From countless seeds come not countless plants – all that is required, all that is hoped for, is but one. DSCN8106This is how God creates. For this is how God loves. Profusely, limitless, overgenerous in creative exuberance and abundant forgiveness… what goodness there is now is only the smallest part of what will be.

So, yes, I believe. Jesus, our savior and Lord, is fully where he promised to be, where he will call us to join him one day. Although we may not know “where” that is, we know the way… the way of pure and self-giving love without limits. Just so, though we may not know the exact purpose and workings of the plethora of stars and flowers, we know the beauty… the wonder and awe-inspiring beauty of life…

– of life loved exuberantly into being.

© 2015 Christina Chase

Christina Chase View All

Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.

7 thoughts on “The Essence of the Ascension – Weird and Wonderful Leave a comment

    • Thank you, Donna! I enjoy titles that grab people’s attention. And also, as Catholic Christians, we know that we have nothing to fear from the truth – and the truth is that sometimes our spiritual beliefs seem “weird”. When we’re honest enough to go with that, we can see how wonderfully “weird” all of reality is. God is profound!
      Looking forward to your new blog,
      Pax Christi


  1. Christina: Once again in reading this latest piece of yours, emotion sweeps over me, from my throat tightening, my heart swelling with feeling, and tears pricking my eyelids. Faith dwells deep down inside every human being. Digging it out where we can make it a part of our conscience life is the hard part. I believe, like the handful of scientists you refer to who see unknown wonders of God, there is a handful of people like yourself who God has handed the Mission of helping people dig deep and touch that faith. I read your writing and “get” God’s whole picture. Thank you for digging deep, and helping me “see” more clearly what I need more of in my life. We love you!


    • Love what you wrote here: “Faith dwells deep down inside every human being. Digging it out where we can make it a part of our conscience life is the hard part.” So true.
      I am humbled by your words and, as always, grateful to you for your encouragement!
      Pax Christi


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