Heaven touching Earth…
Even if you’re not Catholic, you’ve probably heard that Catholics pray something called the rosary. (If not, click HERE.) If you are Catholic, then you may pray the rosary yourself. Or not. It is a matter of choice. As I wrote in an August reflection, I took up the Christian prayer beads when I was a very new Christian, before I even truly believed in intercessory prayer, in order to meditate upon the mysteries of Christ’s life. And I gained deeper understanding.
In the month of October, we Catholics take the time, not only to pray the rosary, but to educate others on the benefits of this meditating prayer. I don’t feel like educating. So, instead, I’m simply going to share some old reflections of mine, written in the first full year that I was a committed Catholic, when I was still gaining lovely insights through the prayers. All four were written in the summer of 2003 and seem to belong together. For this reason, some are better than others but I will be posting all of them this month, one a week.
As you read these reflections, please keep in mind that they were written nearly 20 years ago and were intended only for my own personal use. I’ve left them raw and unedited, not even correcting or clarifying theological points, so that you can see my flow of thoughts at the time. So some of the statements may be best seen as questions. The Christian faith was somewhat new to me as a revert, I was discovering many things anew, and I enjoyed some little “aha” moments when I took up the beads to meditate on Christ.
This first one is from June of 2003.
The Spirit Moves
While praying and meditating on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, I began to think of the way God works, the way the Spirit moves. I thought about the ways that the spirit moves (or has moved) to generate life. In the beginning, the Spirit of God moved across the face of the waters of the abyss and thus, according to God’s will and word, light and life began. God breathes his Spirit into the earthen form of Man and he is animated with life — that essential quality which is being. And so, all Life — the World, the Universe — begins, has its being, is put into action with the movement of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, and God’s will is done: Heaven reaches into its creation of Space and Time to create Earth and to create Humanity.
There are many instances of the Holy Spirit at work in the Old Testament, but we see It, Him, most clearly at work in the Book of Genesis as proceeding from the Father to conduct the act of generation, Heaven touching Earth in creation. In the New Testament, the Spirit moves again in the same generative way, only much more particularly and singularly. In the womb of a virgin, the Holy Spirit moves to generate a new life. This life is Christ, the man Jesus who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin, Mary. Earth, in its wanting, reaches up toward Heaven, and Heaven, in its loving, touches Earth. The Spirit at work in the earthly sphere and a man is born of a virgin, a man whose nature is both human and divine, being conceived by God, who directly fathered him through the movement of the Spirit, and retains that essence, that spirit, that substance of divine life and is God.
The man thus conceived, born and grown in earthly flesh must die as all earthly flesh must die. Yet, when the dead body of Jesus was lying in the still and quiet of the sealed up tomb, the Holy Spirit moved again. And God who touched the virgin womb to stir life with in it, touched the silence of the tomb to stir life again. And the spirit of God moved across the face of the waters of the abyss and Light and Life began. By this we see that Men may do what they will, but only God is Creator. The will of the Father moves the Spirit to fulfill the Word, which is Being, Divine Life, Christ the Lord of all.
God is Spirit and Truth, and Heaven is not an accident, is not nature-made. Through Perfect Love, God created the world that the world might know Perfect Love. Yet, only that which is not the sun can behold the sun, only that which is not the beloved one can adore the beloved one, only that which is not full of mercy can receive Mercy, only that which is humble and low can be raised and glorified. When the body of the Son of God was killed, God did not let it return to the Earth from which it was formed, but rather re-awakened the Spirit of Life within it and, in good time, received body and soul into Heaven, the realm of Spirit. It’s a Mystery, not to be comprehend by the human mind, for Earth is not to touch Heaven, but only Heaven to touch Earth. Yet, the Divine Life did not leave Earth entirely. The Spirit of God still and always moves across the face of the waters of the abyss and we, sons and daughters of true believers, we, true believers ourselves, are born not only through Earth but also through Heaven, through the Spirit that moves here with us — and in us, and through us. Amen.
© 2022 Christina Chase
Feature Photo © 2020 Dan Chase
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.