And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Here’s the thing, my brothers and sisters: you cannot partake that final total victory, except insofar as you now accept your present suffering, and indeed agree thereto, so as to suffer it most completely. Salvation from death and suffering is real and meaningful only insofar as death and suffering are first and beforehand real and meaningful; only, i.e., insofar as they are really painful, and experienced by us as such.
If we cannot admit to the horror of life, nor then might we accede to its redemption and rescue.
No pain, no salve thereof. What, would you put a band aid on unharmed skin?
Pain then is a forecondition of salvation. Consider pain then as a bonus; consider it an adventure.
Be therefore steadfast, and honest, and true. Reckon your pain honestly, and bear up. He that shall endure to the end shall be saved. Matthew 24:13.
Kristor, this was wonderful. God bless.
Thanks, Wood; and thanks for your patronage of our site.
Rereading the post many days later, it seems horribly dark. It was indeed written from a dark place, suffused with personal pain. So, dark, yeah.
But from within that place of pain *honestly reckoned,* and so admitted to my own self, so that it *went ahead and hurt me* as I would rather it had not, I found at the very bottom of it the promise of our Lord’s plenteous and completely adequate redemption and salvation of all our hurts and harms. Thus the quote from John’s Apocalypse with which I began my written reflection upon that moment.
In the midst of life we are in death, as the Contakion says. And, in the midst of death, we are in life. So long as we agree to that death, and so to that life.
Exultet, Easter Vigil (Praeconium Paschale)
It is truly right and just,
with ardent love of mind and heart
and with devoted service of our voice,
to acclaim our God invisible, the almighty Father,
and Jesus Christ, our Lord, his Son, his Only Begotten.
Who for our sake paid Adam’s debt to the eternal Father,
and, pouring out his own dear Blood,
wiped clean the record of our ancient sinfulness.
These, then, are the feasts of Passover,
in which is slain the Lamb, the one true Lamb,
whose Blood anoints the doorposts of believers.
This is the night,
when once you led our forebears, Israel’s children,
from slavery in Egypt
and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.
This is the night
that with a pillar of fire
banished the darkness of sin.
This is the night
that even now throughout the world,
sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices
and from the gloom of sin,
leading them to grace
and joining them to his holy ones.
Our birth would have been no gain,
had we not been redeemed.
O wonder of your humble care for us!
O love, O charity beyond all telling,
to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!
O truly necessary sin of Adam,
destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!
O happy fault!
that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer!
O truly blessed night,
worthy alone to know the time and hour
when Christ rose from the underworld!
Wishing you all good, penitential Lent