November 1998I Went Out Calling You-----St. John of the Cross



     We can suppress it, resist it, or even pretend it is not there. Still, it can never be destroyed. If it happens at all, it occurs silently in the concrete events of our everyday, with others or when alone. Even when we are with others, it is a second Abiding Presence.


     It is mysticism which makes the human heart restless. It is mysticism which quietly tells us that not only is there a beyond to everything but that there is a Gracious Personal Presence always at work within us and through us, gently guiding and holding us in the most humble unsensational moments of our lives.


     This beyondness of the human heart comes upon us in various ways.


     We experience mysticism in joyful times, celebrations, being with friends and family, in the Baptism of a God-child, moments of special insight, moments when life makes sense, when things are experienced as fitting together and we have the sense that we ourselves are a part of that harmony.


     We experience mysticism in our own longings, our hungers, our sense of incompleteness , our feelings of being separated from the very Source of our being.


     And, then there is the mysticism of darkness and suffering, that abiding personal call to surrender to Love and growth, the mysticism of human ache and unfulfilled desires, the mysticism of being called to live life, not even knowing the plan of the project, or so it seems.


     Another kind of mysticism could aptly be called "the mysticism of the pain of God," those times when we experience life situations and know that this is not the way God really wants things to be. Writers tell us that for this to happen, one usually has had a previous personal experience of God, often quite ordinary. It is as if one has had a brief prior moment of "flight from the world" into the Heart of God, thus enabling one to see things as they were meant to be.


     Lastly, there is the mysticism of being on the way every single day. Citing the thinking of Karl Rahner, Donald Buggert refers to this as the primary mystical experience, "the courageous acceptance of life and of oneself" and the willingness to enter fully into the process of being human, knowing that this is where God is found and experienced.



The above reflection by Sr. Mary Jo Loebig was inspired by "Grace and Religious Experience", by Donald Buggert, O.Carm. Published in Master of the Sacred Page. Editors, Keith Egan, Craig Morrison, Michael Wastag.