Book of Sirach 24: 1-11
The Interior Castle Teresa of Avila
In recent months I have been doing chaplaincy work in the trauma room at University Hospital.
I have been present to individuals and families who cry out loud for a miracle.
The cries are filled with passion and seem to reverberate into the vastness of the night skies.
To be human and to cry out in grief is to know what it is like to be little. It is a contingency experience.
"I am suffering. I am afraid. I want a miracle!"
On this darkest day of the year, when night envelops creation,
there is a paradox in our midst~~~~~
We hear from the Book of Sirach that Hokma/Sophia, Divine Wisdom,
speaks of Her glory in the highest heavens.
She is mobile and She covers the earth like a mist.
She encompasses heaven and traverses the abyss.
Over the oceans, over the earth and over every nation, She holds sway.
She is eternal and holy and wants to dwell in her beloved people.
Holy Wisdom emerges from the heavens and establishes a dwelling place in ancient Zion.
She emerges also from the heavens into our winter solstice tonight to take root within us.
Sixteenth century Spanish mystic Teresa of Avila envisioned the soul
to be like a mansion made of diamond or crystal
with many, diverse rooms~~~~
This is our deepest, most mysterious self~~
It is where our passion lies~~
From within this mansion we Experience ourselves as little~~
It is from where we most feel our contingent experiences.
This mansion made of crystal is our inner Zion, our inner Jerusalem
where Divine Wisdom chooses Her dwelling place.
When we cry out for a miracle, She is there.
Beloved Wisdom is intimate and present.
AND, Beloved Wisdom WANTS to be intimate and present.
In the deep, dark center of our being, Her presence illumines all
things, especially our cries of grief.
She is Holy Paradox that we carry within.
When Mary sings her great song of liberation, she is speaking
directly to this Holy One who is dwelling intimately within her.
Like Hannah of the Hebrew Bible, Mary's BODY and VOICE are
magnified by God's miracle when life felt painfully small.
Pregnant with Wisdom Incarnate, Mary gives voice to her soul and
speaks on behalf of those who are held captive in the world because
of human brokenness and because of Injustice that leads to
belittlement and bleakness.
The Holy Paradox happening in Mary's depths animates and
emboldens her to speak about power reversals on the earth
where the little ones are raised up and tyrants are diminished.
The mansion made of crystal with many rooms where Holiness dwells
is an image of one's individual soul.
It's also an image of the Universal Soul where we all dwell with one
another and with all of creation and where Hokma/Sophia has chosen
to take root.
Within this universal soul there are so many who cry out for a miracle
because they suffer.
Like a solitary little bird sitting atop a weeping cherry tree in a cold
downpour, so many live in a state of constant vulnerability and
contingency waiting for compassionate intervention.
On this darkest day of the year, on this Fourth Saturday of
Advent with our eye toward Christmas Day,
let us stop~~~~~
~~~~and be still
~~~~and be silent
Wisdom will be waiting.
You are Her beloved and She desires to be in dialogue with you.
And in this darkest day of the year, let us imagine what it would
be like to join one another on Wisdom's path to traverse the diverse
rooms and the lands for those who suffer:
----in hospital rooms
----in inner city violence
-----on the streets
-----in psychiatric wards
-----in halfway houses
-----in the bleakness of depression
This is Wisdom Incarnate. This is the Christ breaking into the mystery
of today's winter solstice, who is taking up residence in a beloved
city, who grows tall like a cedar, who fills out with glorious blossoms
the weeping cherry tree
and who gives forth to all
her sacred fragrance.
Let us participate fully in the human cries for miracles and let us
compose our own songs of liberation and healing
where the sounds of Wisdom reverberate from Zion forever!
December 21, 2013
Christ Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community
Mary Sue Barnett, ARCWP Priest