In a moment of clarity, William Shakespeare saw that it is, "with a wound we shall be cur'd."
What is our experience? Everything arises, endures and fades. Like yesterday. Like the breath we just took. Like the sleep we left to awaken to today. This is the abiding rhythm of life and, it seems, our death. It too arises, endures and fades. The secret, of course, is to find Divine Beauty or Presence in the flaw. Perhaps this is why Jesus cannot allow Peter his tents. It ends! He has something more to teach them and leaves them with a huge question!
This week, Marks Gospel invites us to ponder Death and Transfiguration. Usually we don't like to think about death, especially our own. It frightens us. There is no one who can call it off. We cannot imagine the world without us. Yet, when we pause to think carefully on how all our experiences of dying are so much part of the richness of our lives, it seems unlikely that Gods careful work, our growing, our memory and our presence would be dumped over a cliff.
The Transfiguration of Jesus makes me wonder if the soul is in the body or the body is in the soul? When I used to think of the soul being in the body, I saw it as an object to be kept and polished. Yet, as the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus sat in me, I began to wonder if the body is in the soul and that for all our life, our souls care for us and shelter us. If this is true, how much more tenderly will it carry us to Him when the time of our death draws near.
Peter, James and John were going to be transfigured by the gift they received on Mount Tabor. The memory of the intimacy and tenderness of His Light, is a subtle light which sustains. If we could, like them, only realise the sureness in Him, we would have more courage. The cage of anxiety that surrounds us would disappear, and perhaps most importantly, we would be freed from the weight of regret.
In, The Colours of Love, Denis Devlin puts it like this:
"But is that beauty, is that beauty death? No, it is the mask by which were drawn to Him,
It is with our consent death finds his breath; Love is death's beauty unmasked".