At Easter Vigil 2015 I will enter full communion with the Catholic Church, which I hope will be a touchstone for greater depths in my spiritual journey toward God. In this series, I attempt to share ‘why’, not as defense or argument, but to point at something better for the mystical body of Christ. It is organized over five themes during Passion Week: merger, reclamation, hunger, visibility and unity.
Tonight I become more than simply Catholic, but ‘catholic’ meaning ‘universal’, the original meaning of the word. I begin a journey toward merging my double selves into a better, truer self; fighting in love for nothing of intrinsic value to be lost. I go hoping to bring out new treasures with the old, in search of an answer to the paradoxical question: how may Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism merge within me, without disintegrating who they are?
These are small, incomplete confessions of my spiritual biography, but I hope, more than anything it has stoked your imaginations, moving you to consider Jesus’ John 17 prayer for us and eventually, to also fight in love for a deep, Trinitarian unity in the Body of Christ, to see one, reconciled visible church.
What now? Where do we go from here? Honestly, I do not know, yet.
I only know we must go in search of an answer to our question, asking not where is this visible unity, or how can it be, or this is a hard teaching, who can accept it? Rather, we ought to ask ourselves how will this unity become visible and true within us? It is not the journey itself that will shape who we are, but our faith working itself out in action that will change us, and as we are changed, the church will change. And when the church changes, so will the world.
Yet, we must achieve a critical mass: two is enough to bring Jesus; three is even better; even more than that? Transformational.
Tonight is the Easter Vigil, as we prepare for the coming of our Lord. It parallels the hope of the Parousia, when he will break the sky and return for his Church. I believe it is time for us to trim our wicks and prepare to meet him, so that we may rise with him in and as a new, visible, unified creation. The alternative is, I believe, to fail Christ’s vision for us in John 17.
Jesus asked once, “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Turned around on us, when the Son of Man comes, what kind of church will he find? One fractured and separated, feigning unity with a thin veneer of ‘ecumenism’? Or will he find a beautiful, visible, unified expression of the Trinity?
Who will Jesus find us to be when he comes?