Down Mt Tabor
I have heard of people wanting to go up Mt Tabor, the mountain of Transfiguration. Many times in retreats and recollections, a metaphor to the mountain is used to illustrate how we remove ourselves from the cares and worries of the world in order to be alone, atop a high mountain, and there be transfigured with Christ. The social weather we have today is full of pressure and concerns that the natural tendency for the post modern man is to recluse himself in order to cope better the problems he faces. For us Christian Catholics, this is going up Mt Tabor with Christ.
Yet we mustn’t forget that what comes up must go down. Nobody can live forever, yet, in Mt Tabor. Life moves down below, in the very concrete circumstance of life. I believe it is wrong to assume that the experience of spiritual “high” is the very end of transfiguration. Rather, we are transfigured in order to be sent down, to bring the experience of God back to ordinary life and to ordinary people.
I think of many participants of retreats and seminars and how after a period of staying with Christ, they glow with the joy and holiness of the Encounter with Christ. The challenge for them is to sustain that experience even after the “high” has faded. We are not spiritual junkies.
I also think of people who recluse themselves, going into their own inner Mt Tabor, and who because of lack of courage to really face truth, could not take the step down back to the real world. Sadly, they are stuck in high in the mountain enjoying the solitude that will soon becomes loneliness then despair as the Spirit of the Lord does not rest on despairing hearts.
My experience of life taught me that Mt Tabor isn’t just the “high” but it is also the “lows” of life. Even intense sadness can bring the transfiguration that Christ desires for us. But either high or low, we must go down Mt Tabor, to be in the world but not of the world.
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