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I believe in Jesus Christ; truly human

Saturday, December 22, 2018

By Br Albert Elias Robertson Over the summer, while on pilgrimage in Lourdes, a fellow friar sitting next to me said, ‘Isn’t extraordinary that God has a mother?’

Over the summer, while on pilgrimage in Lourdes, a fellow friar sitting next to me said, ‘Isn’t extraordinary that God has a mother?’ Sure, I thought; it’s one of the great mysteries of our faith, and perhaps so normal for us, that it just passes us by. But over the next few weeks as I prayed my rosary, or read the Scriptures, I kept returning to that idea - that God has a mother, that God had a human life.One thing this means is that God has given us the life of His body, so that His bodily life becomes the pattern for our own. As Christians, but particularly as friars in formation for the priesthood, we learn to live our lives according to the death and resurrection of our Lord - the central mystery of our faith, and the one which, God willing, we will be instructed to model our lives on on the day of our ordination to the priesthood. But the everyday events of our Lord’s life, His ordinariness, seem at times more wondrous than His great displays of power. It means that our everyday life can be an offering like that of Christ’s, we can offer ourselves to God as Christ did, and we can share in His redemptive power. As with all things, Our Lady provides the pattern here. For if we surrender ourselves to God, living our lives as an echo of her prayer, ‘Be it done to me according to your word,’ then Christ can live in us in an intimate communion.

We can find Christ most easily in the moments where his presence is most obvious, in moments when His loving presence is felt most closely in prayer, or in His consoling presence in our griefs and anxieties. But sometimes the mundane parts of our life grind us down and all seems dry. But Christ’s human life offers us two consolations, that Christ too experienced the most ordinary of human experiences - He thirsted at the well, hungered in the wilderness, and was tired and exhausted by His ministry. But the greatest consolation which we can received is the way His work in us can change our relationship with the world. If we see the world with the eyes of Him through whom all things were made, the goodness of creation and the beauty of the earth becomes apparent to us in a way previously unthinkable; if we work with His hands, there is no work mundane enough not to be dignified; if we love with His love, we can share in the love of Christ.

Br Albert Elias Robertson O.P.

Br Albert Elias was born in Surrey and went to university at the London School of Economics, where he read Social Anthropology before going to Oxford, where he read for an MPhil in Material Anthropology. After studies, he had a propaedeutic year in three Anglican parishes in north London. He became a Catholic in 2013 and worked for a short time in London living at St Patrick’s Soho before entering the noviciate in 2015. Br Albert helps to run the Thomistic Institute and so has an interest in promoting the theology of St Thomas as well as Patristics. In his spare time he likes to read novels [lots]. | albert.robertson@english.op.org


Yvette commented on 09-Jan-2019 10:04 AM
Many thanks Br Albert for this short, captivating and moving article.

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