My week has been totally preoccupied, in a prayerful way, with the Transfiguration scriptures from last Sunday. Sr. Catherine has given a very insightful reflection about these scriptures earlier this week.
I found two roads converging this week in my Lenten prayers. Last weekend I was still deliberating what book I should use for my Lenten reading. I just was looking for something outside the usual Lenten spiritual books. Sitting on my bookshelf was a book I bought a year ago on the sale shelf at Borders. God in the Foxholes fell into my bookshelf as I like those personal experiences of finding God in all parts of life. However, the time has not been right to open it. Last weekend I picked it up as my Spirit just reached for it.
The book is a compilation of true stories of faith by men and women from the Civil War through the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Powerful experiences of finding God in the midst of life and death battle experiences. Men and women of faith being reinforced as well as men and women finding God for the first time. Miracles of soldiers surviving against all odds because of God’s care and their prayer. Miracles of soldiers doing the outrageous with a faith that carries them.
The Transfiguration is about the apostles recognizing Jesus in a profound experience. The bright aura around Him, the confirmation from God to His Son and the desire to remain with Jesus forever. It was, actually, a preparation for the life and death experiences Jesus and His followers will be facing the next 40 days. The stories in my book are profound experiences of recognizing God’s presence. In fact, several of the stories I read this week are transfiguration experiences. Men and women saw themselves wrapped in a white aura which protected them in a death moment of a battle. One soldier had a deeply personal experience of Jesus saying ‘I am with you my son’ and was saved from, what should have been, his death.
As Lent leads to the Passion, Death and Resurrection we are on the same journey as the disciples and the soldiers. We are transformed, transfigured and blessed in the most difficult moments of life. It is not an easy journey – just ask the disciples and the soldiers! It is about recognizing God in the moment, trusting His guidance, trusting ourselves to believe in the ultimate mystery that gives meaning to our life and death experiences.