Friday, 26 December 2008

Holy Conspiracy

Last night, the Christmas Proclamation was read before Mass (yes, that's the wrong placement, but we don't quibble about these things at Christmas), and I sang it (to myself, and to God, I suppose, although I'm sure that God has heard it enough times to know it) when I prayed Vespers this evening. I posted the text yesterday.

This beautiful passage from the Martyrology chronicles the events that led to the birth of Jesus. It begins at Creation, and moves forward to the Flood and to Abraham, to Moses and the Exodus, to David and Daniel, detailing the Grecian Olympiad, the founding of Rome, and the reigning Roman emperor. Then it puts us right where we are; in time beyond time, that is: Jesus Christ comes to us, "desiring to sanctify the world," nine months after having been conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Which made me think.

To truly know where we are, we must know where we have been. Socialization helps to form us, from a very early age, into the kind of people that we are, and the effects of this assimilating period last throughout a lifetime. But beyond socialization, where we are, and what kind of people we are, is formed by life experiences: good and bad events that teach us, shape our personalities, expose our weaknesses, and alter our circumstances.

We all have stories to tell about our lives, especially in relation to where we are now in our journeys toward God. Some things beckoned us to God, and some things drew us, or pushed us, away from God. But for most of us reading this (after all, reading a blog like this requires a certain level of dedication, or a fondness for photographs, but that's another discussion entirely), we can credit something or some things as catalysts for drawing us back to the path toward holiness. Something that can be added to our list of characteristics picked up during socialization and the experiences through childhood and adulthood that have taken us to the very place that we are right now.

All of human history conspired to bring us the mystery of our Incarnate God. From the very beginning God planned to come to us, through no malicious actions nor goodwill of our own. Unapproachable Love deigned to approach us.

All of our "history" conspired to bring us to the present moment. During this holy season we are asked to contemplate the mystery of the Incarnation and the salvation story that led up to that moment. May we also take the time during this holy season to contemplate our own "salvation" stories that have led us to where we are now. Good or bad circumstances, positive or negative actions and consequences- all of it is a unique part of who we are, and we would not be where we are without the process. We cannot know where we are unless we know where we have been.

What would our Proclamation look like if we wrote one for ourselves? Where have we been, and where are we now?

Pax et bonum.