WHY THE CROSS AS FOCUS? IT PRODUCES TRANSFORMATION INTO GOD

The style that Eugene uses to describe the highpoint of his conversion journey is reminiscent of the heart of St. Augustine’s well-known conversion experience described in his Confessions. Eugene described it in this way:

How often in my past life had my wounded, tormented heart taken wings for God from whom it had turned away!
… I could then, and also on some other instance, perceive the difference. Never was my soul more satisfied, never did it feel such happiness

Retreat Journal, December 1814, O.W. XV n.130

For Eugene the impulse to a definitive conversion came through becoming aware of the eyes of the Savior focused on him. For Augustine it came though the realization that Jesus was the Way and the Truth and the Life, inviting him to radical transformation.

“O eternal Truth, true Love, and beloved Eternity, you are my God, and for you I sigh day and night. As I first began to know you, you lifted me up and showed me that, while that which I might see exists indeed, I was not yet capable of seeing it. Your rays beamed intensely on me, beating back my feeble gaze, and I trembled with love and dread. I knew myself to be far away from you in a region of unlikeness, and I seemed to hear your voice from on high: “I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and you shall eat me. You will not change me into yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed into me”. Augustine, Confessions

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“So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.” I John 4:16

 

“I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and you shall eat me. You will not change me into yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed into me.”  St. Augustine

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One Response to WHY THE CROSS AS FOCUS? IT PRODUCES TRANSFORMATION INTO GOD

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Is this what it all means? Is this what it is about? I am filled with equal degrees of dread, fear and sheer wonderment. A thought of “I am not worthy” but still Your beloved face draws me in – quite unable to turn away.

    For many years I relentlessly asked God to ‘please empty my heart and fill it with your own”. And my Most Beloved’s response always has been to pick me up, draw me into a heart that eclipses all else that is!

    Jesus on the Cross. Jesus who is fully resurrected yet still on the Cross. I am barely able to understand, I simply know it to be. It all goes beyond emotions and feelings, beyond words. Yet it is the deepest truth possible.

    “Why the cross as focus? It produces transformation into God.” Those words – enough to stop the world from turning. Quite unable to gloss them over, and impossible to hide from. They bring about a small and tiny point of awareness that is not entirely comfortable while at the same time being full of light. The Cross – something so low and starkly dark – yet it will not be my death but rather my life. I did not choose the cross, but rather it chose me. That I become a part of something I so long to be one with… I am nowhere near the end of my journey, but I have lifted my foot to take a very small step on the path and I am almost afraid to put it down so that I might lift my other foot.

    Dearest Eugene – look at what you and yours have started, like shepherds leading me here. Pray for me.

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