Archdiocese of Chicago

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Thursday, August 6, 2009


Every once in a while we’re visited with a moment of clarity that helps us to see things as they really are and in the correct order of their importance.  Sometimes it’s an accident or an illness that brings us up short; sometimes it’s the birth of a child, especially a first child, or an exceptionally happy occasion.

The apostles closest to Jesus had such a moment in the mystery that the Church calls the Transfiguration of the Lord.  Suddenly they saw the glory of God in the presence of Jesus, breaking through his bodily limitations even before his resurrection from the dead.  They were shocked, confused and blessed.  They wanted to extend the moment, but were returned to the problems of daily life where they were soon to experience Jesus’ degradation in the crucifixion. 

In less extreme fashion, we experience ups and downs in our relation to God and others.  Recalling the bright moments helps us get through the dark ones.

August 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, is also the anniversary of the death of Pope Paul VI, who was elected Pope some months before I was ordained a priest.  His life was filled with good moments and bad, and I pray for him each August 6, hoping also that he now enjoys the glory of the Lord and prays for us.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI

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