Ever want to have God appear to you in your own, personal, burning bush? Usually, when we talk about “religious experience,” we think about flash shows of divine presence like fiery chariots from heaven, ala Elijah’s assent to heaven (2 Kings 2). We at least think of glorious songs and inspirational worship. At first flush, it seems like the story of the Transfiguration, with Jesus shining presence and a voice from heaven seems to advocate for this kind of religious experience as a part of our faith. Before the story, however, Jesus speaks of the cross. After the bright lights, the disciples are left with Jesus – just Jesus. Maybe that is a clue to a different way that God is revealed to us in the wake of the incarnation of God in Christ.
I lost myself. Forgot myself.
I lay my face against the Beloved’s face.
Everything fell away and I left myself behind,
Abandoning my cares
Among the lilies, forgotten.” – Juan de la Cruz
“They can be like the sun, words. They can do for the heart what light can for a field.” – John of the Cross (juan de la Cruz)
The Lord was Baptized, not to be cleansed Himself, but to cleanse the waters, so that those waters, cleansed by the flesh of Christ which knew no sin, might have the power of Baptism. – Ambrose of Milan
It is easier to look wise than to talk wisely. – Ambrose of Milan
“If you have two shirts in your closet, one belongs to you and the other to the man with no shirt.” ― Ambrose of Milan
“No one heals himself by wounding another.” ― Ambrose of Milan