Fr. Thomas Colyandro
The Mystical in the World
As I continually read, watch, and listen to the multitudinous stories of the atrocities committed against Christians around the world these days, I have repeatedly found myself meditating deeply and frequently about Christian identity, persecution, and martyrdom. In the midst of such a reflection, I also find that I am asking God if and what I should do to help those afflicted.
While I certainly can’t recount here the entirety of His mildly astonishing answer to me, I can tell you that I was reminded of what St. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.” In other words: the mystical does enter the mundane.
Knowing and believing this is vital to our understanding of a vibrant faith. It is the bridge that God gives to us in order to see the path between a world dripping with evil and sin, and the world of Divinity in the heavenly kingdom. Mystical experiences happen because God loves us. They are a clear sign that He is interceding for us. God does this because He wants to give us every possible chance to escape from our sinful selves and the vicious acts of the evil one. He also does this because He calls each and every one of us to a foretaste of eternal unity with the Most Holy Trinity in the heavenly kingdom.
Thus, one of the lessons to be learned is this: instead of always looking at what is wrong in the world, take the time to remember that God is working in the midst of it. For example, it is a miracle that there are Orthodox everywhere who are willing to sacrifice life and limb to bring the message of God into a godless world.
Remember, too, all the miracles that have happened in the past, both as an acknowledgment that God has been working in the world since the beginning of time and as a way of finding a path that is modeled after the saints who bathed in the mystical light. Let us pray for one another that we may live our lives by the light of this kind of faith.
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