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Friday, June 9, 2017

Transformation: Away from the eyes of men



Transformation:  Away from the eyes of men
By:  Eric Gajewski

Away from the eyes of men are we transformed.  We must go within like the caterpillar must in order the shed our “old skin”.  Indeed, we are ugly worms crawling in this life but through God’s grace we have the capability of coming out a whole new creature.  It is the Cross which transforms us and yet it is the Cross that man in is human nature seeks to resist.  St. Teresa of Avila once said that do not think that the man who is suffering is not praying.  I concur.  In fact, the man who suffers more is praying more.  There is a change that is necessary for man to make if he is to gain entrance into heaven and this change goes unnoticed within.  The Cross is often hidden under a smile but it is found beneath the material.  I am a mystery unto myself as it is He who now suffers within.  We all have the capability of flying in freedom as the beautiful butterfly does but the worm only knowing the ground seems to enjoy his horizontal view of the world.  The Cross transforms us so that as butterflies we now have the capability of seeing the world completely different.  The caterpillar without going to its cocoon will never change and thus the man who refuses the Cross refuses life eternal.




Away from the eyes of men.  God sees all that you are suffering and you are not alone.  For as the soul moves closer to God the more it shall suffer its own self, weaknesses and imperfections.  Only the FEW are brave enough to reach out and touch the hem of His garment in Faith.  The interior life is riddled with constant tests, tribulations and crosses.  It is seemingly a constant Faith or fear situation.  A constant flight or fright arrangement.  We must remember that where our strength ends His NEVER fails.  So many caterpillars on the ground but so few beautiful butterflies flying up above.  Remember we shall be judged, in part, in how we handled our crosses.  We will see in the end just how “little” we really suffered in comparison to the Saints and furthermore see just how poorly we carried these crosses.  Having said that, do not be discouraged!  Faith in all things for through grace we can accomplish all.  Your hidden crosses are important to Jesus.


Silence & Solitude.  The caterpillar enters “his cell” and like the monk enters to examine himself.  He seeks to be that which he was truly created for longing for this “transformation”.  As Painful as it is for the caterpillar to remain hanging in the cocoon under the noonday sun he knows his destiny.  The same for us Christians who take the interior life seriously.  We know it shall be painful “hanging” upon our cross day in and day out but glory to God what is truly happening within.  The old man is dying off and he is clothing himself in Christ alone.  We die He always lives.  The cell can be frightening to those always accustom to distraction but how else do you expect to transform when the Master said there is no other way but the Cross alone?  Does not the caterpillar die a "mystical death" too if he wants to become a butterfly?


Growing the wings of Faith and Hope.  Have you ever seen the beauty of the butterflies wings?  They speak to the glory of God.  They shout of His Name and speak to that union which carries him on His Wind alone.  They speak to his new found freedom of having left behind his “old skin”, that is, his old self.  He pursues the skies instead of the dirt below.  For once being trapped inside his cell he thought often of how he would like to retreat and go back to his old ways but Faith kept him hanging under the hot noonday sun. Fear keeps the ugly worm grounded wilst those who are willing to enter their cell shall be transformed.



The dark of the cell.  The inside of this cocoon is dark and seems to weigh heavy upon the soul at first.  It seems to be suffocating us.  Yet, it is only trying to help us shed the “old skin”.  Do we not profess to be new creatures in Christ?  How can we be new without our cell and Cross?  How do expect to know thy self and God without ever entering your cell for long periods of time.  Now, you should know that I teach one hour a day of silence and solitude but this is only the minimum I would suggest.  There will be times when you feel like breaking free and joining the world once again but do not.  This is self love’s suggestion only “egged on” by the devil.  Would you rather die an ugly worm never knowing what you could have truly done for Christ?  Recall that even in the dark of the cell light still enters.  God is the Architect and is molding your soul to his liking.

If God deemed it that the caterpillar must hang in order to be transformed what makes you think you ought not hang on the Cross like Christ?  Do we not profess we are dead and Christ lives in us?  And if we are to shed the “skin” of this life in “death” would we not fly off as butterflies into His Presence if we truly have been perfected?  This choice remains yours this day.  Worm or butterfly?