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The Transfiguration of Our Lord
(which took place about a year before our Lord’s crucifixion, on Mt Tabor in Galilee)
Dear Miss Anthropy,
Normally I write only to my myriad nephews and nieces (purely for prudential reasons – my captors care less about them than about all my other contacts), but your note (which just arrived) moved me so deeply that I simply had to respond right away (however briefly). I believe it was no coincidence that I read your note today, the Feast of our Lord’s Transfiguration, that singular manifestation of his glory, where for a short time the three closest disciples (Peter, James, and John, as you will remember) were given a vision of Christ’s divine beauty, in order to strengthen their faith for the trials still to come.
You, so I infer from your note, are currently in the midst of one of one such trial. I know you know that these difficulties are necessary for us; the cross of Christ is the only medicine for our sin-ridden souls. Nevertheless, the cross is still the cross, and it hurts. But my dear Lady, have you forgotten about your Mt Tabor experiences? Has our Lord not graced you with numerous experiences of his unsurpassable goodness and love? You need only recollect your spirit a bit and recall those times when Jesus invited you to join him on the top of the mountain of the Transfiguration – it is the same God who is now reaching out to you through this trial. It was easy to love him when he embraced you with his light; but your love runs deeper and richer if it stays true when he embraces you with the cross.
The spiritual life, my most worthy correspondent, progresses along two rails of an unpredictable track: consolation and desolation, joy and sorrow, sweetness and suffering. The secret to moving forward swiftly is not to forget the one when you are undergoing the other, for both are laid by the wise hand of God.
Yours truly, Edward