Contemplation and Transfiguration in Christ

Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange “All of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:18). Only in infused contemplation is this transformation of a certainty fully realized on earth.
Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange OP (1877–1964)

Transfigured and a Source of Joy

antonio6In one of his sermons, Saint Anthony of Padua says of Christ,

His very physical appearance, on which the angels desire to look, is a source of joy.

This reminds me of Mount Tabor. Christ took James, John, and Peter up Mount Tabor and was transfigured before them. He shone in glory. His appearance was bright, visible, luminous, and pure. That must be how he is in Heaven. He was glorified, and it affected the visible features of his sacred body.

To some extent, this is what is supposed to happen to us here below. We are supposed to be, by our very physical appearance, a joy to others.

Now, of course, this joy isn’t merely carnal, it’s spiritual!

And of course, barring any miracle, we do not physically shine like Jesus on Mount Tabor!

But still, our very physical appearance is meant to be “a source a joy,” real spiritual joy, for others. It might come from the smile we give, or the eyes that are paying attention to our Lord (in Heaven, in the Eucharist, or in our neighbours), or the gentleness we radiate around ourselves unconsciously, or the hard-earned lines on our face and around our eyes which come from paying attention to others. It could be any of these, or it could be something else. But may we not feebly imitate Christ, whose “very physical appearance, on which the angels desire to look, is a source of joy”?

Prayer of the Church

Edith SteinAll authentic prayer is prayer of the Church. Through every sincere prayer something happens in the Church, and it is the Church itself that is praying therein, for it is the Holy Spirit living in the Church who intercedes for every individual soul “with sighs too deep for words” (Rom 8:26)… What could the prayer of the Church be, if not great lovers giving themselves to God who is love!
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross