Friday, June 30, 2017

holy mud

St Gregory the Great tells us many interesting things today in A Year with the Church Fathers. But one phrase in particular grabbed my attention. He says, "exalted things go along with low things, and earthly things are joined to heavenly things, and one thing is made of both visible and invisible."

That's the wonder that we experience as humans. Being both made of mud, as God created us from the dust of the Earth and breathed life into us, and filled with eternity. We are the meeting place of the very low, physical, banal reality of the embarrassingly biological human body, and the eternal spirit and soul which speaks to God in phrases that our minds can't even understand. The very strange combination of these two extremes tempts us to think that our flesh is bad and our spirit is good. And that one day we will be free of this bad physical form, so we can live in a better spiritual reality forever.

But we believe in a bodily resurrection. That's the future. We also look back to the past (the very beginning) and see that God made stuff. Not only did He make it, but He called it good. He likes stuff. It's not bad, it's actually very good. So we have physical bodies to look forward to for eternity.

That brings us to the thing that Gregory asks us to do in today's reading. To pray for others. We have the privilege of praying for our fellow travelers in this foreign land. We can, if we dare, even pray for those who have shuffled off of this mortal coil and are headed for their eternal reward. We know that we will be perfected between death and our eternal life, and we don't know how long that perfection process might take. So a prayer for those who have died and are headed to heaven will certainly be appreciated.

But let's keep in mind that God meets us in this strange place where our funny bodies laden with biological processes meet our spirits. He meets us in that muddy place where we live our daily lives. Don't be afraid to share your mud with Him. He even uses mud to heal.

God, thank You for meeting us where we live.