In today’s Gospel, Matthew tells us of a privileged conversation between Jesus and his disciples, Peter, James, and John. They were coming down Mount Tabor after experiencing the Transfiguration of Our Lord. Jesus tells them not to share the vision yet, so they ask: “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus gives one of his non-direct answers that often leaves them wondering. But this day, they had clarity: Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist. (Matthew 17:13)
They were still coming down, descending, not at the bottom yet. Perhaps their minds and hearts were still open from their top-of-the-mountain experience. Perhaps their minds were not taken up by worldly worries yet.
[…] You are right: work at holy recollection; that is the root of the tree, the life of virtue and even of divine love. Distraction of spirit is really harmful for the heart, because when the mind is flitting everywhere, playing with everything, worrying over a thousand and one little nothings, it leaves the heart dry, stops feeding it with good thoughts; the memory no longer reminds it about the presence of God. (Saint Peter Julian Eymard)
How beautiful it is when we have moments of clarity when the veil between heaven and earth seems to lift, and everything makes sense. How difficult it is when, soon after, it all seems but a distant memory, when we are surrounded by shadows, guided only by the light of our faith. I am so grateful for my spiritual director’s insistence on my persistence in journaling. Writing down my experiences in prayer makes them available to me when the memory dissipates and I struggle to grasp the grace. As I read back, I remember, and I see once again.
Let us pray:
Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face, and we shall be saved. (Responsorial Psalm)