January 2020

How to Embrace Mystery

Baptism drops the Spirit of the Holy One into our veins, but there is no fire where there is not matter to burn; asceticism is the cost of making us combustible, and that fire is a mystical one. Liturgy is ecstasy: going out of one’s self to abide in God. But killing our selflove requires ascetical fortitude. Mysticism is not a character trait that only some people have, like blue eyes or a quick temper. Neither is mysticism a feat accomplished by our own abilities, like writing a novel or playing the trombone. Mysticism is caused by grace, and grace abides in the Church, which is communion in the Holy Spirit, by whose dominion one can develop a life that is spiritual, begun when baptism infuses the supernatural graces of faith, hope, and love. 

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