Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Saturday...

the day taken out, like an empty hole in time, anechoic, no-thing.

Prayer is like this very often, a place without a place, “waterless over the harsh rocks, down the dry valley of heedless stones...”

What could have happened in the tomb, between Joseph and Nicodemus leaving, and that dawn of glory? There will never be a way to know: those hours were outside time, and what we are, creatures of days and years, cannot comprehend it.

Again prayer: the truer our prayer, the more we come to him who will forever be beyond our comprehension. We meet him as nearly face to face as we could ever bear, and yet we don’t recognise him. We don’t have the equipment to take him in – we are as uncomprehending as a profoundly deaf man at a symphony concert, or a blind cave salamander in a measureless cavern of crystal.

Tomorrow morning, Mary had this problem. She met her Lord and her Saviour face to face, and thought he was the gardener. Maria Boulding, from Marked for Life - Prayer in the Easter Christ:

Prayer is listening, listening to the word. Like Mary Magdalene we hear many words, but at rare intervals we hear the really piercing word, the word that affirms us in our beings, the fiat that creates and re-creates us. This word is our own name. It is the secret name written on the white stone that no one knows except him who receives it, the secret truth of our own person that we do not yet fully know ourselves but only glimpse, because it is only potentially true as yet, true to God but not yet fully brought to birth.

Tomorrow morning Jesus speaks our name, piercing our incomprehension with his recognition, his knowing, his comprehending us. Our part is to listen – listen into the anechoic disorienting silence, the dead room, the empty garden, long before dawn, “while it was still dark.” This is the time Mary set off, thinking she knew but not even knowing why she went, like we must go, not being able to know why till our Lord calls us by name, but going anyway, into the dark, into the place of tombs, the hortus conclusus, the garden closed to our senses but open to our going in. Listen... listen!

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