I spent a few days of my vacation on a virtual retreat through Holy Cross Monastery. The theme was “Praying with the Spanish Mystics” and we spent a day each with Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, and John of the Cross. (My niece, upon hearing the names of the mystics, wondered if someday she could be known as “Audrey of Manhattan”?!)
Toward the end of the retreat, the leader gave us some quotes to meditate by, and I was particularly struck by this one from John of the Cross:
“That which God seeks to do is make us gods through participation, as [God] is God by nature, even as fire converts all things into fire.” (from Maxims on Love)
Yesterday the church marked the Feast of the Transfiguration, when Jesus was filled with the dazzling light and fiery glory of God on top of a mountain for his closest disciples to see. The story shows Jesus participating fully in God’s very being, illuminating for the disciples that even in his human-ness, Jesus was also divine, ablaze with the bright fire of God.
As John of the Cross reminds us, though, the fire of God is burning within each of us as well — even if it is not yet as bright as the dazzling flame that shone through Jesus. Just as fire converts all things into fire, so the glory of God that shone through Jesus that day is also shining more and more in each one of us. We are each, little by little, being transfigured and glorified and divinized, though the power of God.
How might your life be different if you noticed how you yourself are being transfigured, little by little, by the glory of God? How can you let a bit more of God’s light shine out from you?!