Mysticism and the Risk of Freedom
To walk in the freedom of the Spirit requires risk, one that we would often rather not take. For many Catholics this results in the choice to hide their humanity behind the form of religion rather than be transformed by it's substance. I count myself among those who should risk more for the Lord. We would rather be told what to do in every walk of our spiritual journey and be given a comfortable religious form rather than risk following the prompting of the Holy Spirit. We can see this kind of drama being fought out energetically today between the so called conservative and liberal Catholic wings, and it's a sad drama that is scourging the body of Christ again and ripping apart his seamless garment. I take some comfort, though, in the reality that the ugliness being displayed in the Church is the scourged appearance of the mystical body which underneath is still Jesus. I would rather not see him scourged again, although this must come to pass. The Church, the body of Christ, must follow the head, and be scourged stripped and crucified, and rise again. Already we are seeing the stripping as the material assets of the Church are being taken away to pay for the multiplication of lawsuits that are occurring. The Church will loose everything and appearing to be dead will be alive in the hearts of the faithful with the holiness of God himself as it was in the heart of Mary on that Holy Sabbath before his resurrection. This is why She appears in so many places to prepare us for this time. In truth I long for the stripping of the Church so that the Spirit may reign unhindered.
What has this got to do with hiding behind the form of religion though? This much - in that there will no longer be the form of religion to hide behind, just the distilled and raw Christian encounter that marked the beginning of the Church. What does it actually matter in the end if the Church officiates from Rome or Jerusalem. It's the same Jesus, and what does it actually matter if St Peters Basilicas remains standing against the backdrop of the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven (Rev 21:2). The gates of Hell will not prevail and that is sufficient.
We are quickly arriving at a place in Church History where there is no longer any place for "Canned Catholicism" (which I describe in another post) consisting entirely of "ism" without any Jesus. In the coming times the Church will consist entirely of mystics, wedded to Jesus, moving by the winds of the Holy Spirit in ways too subtle to be ever guilty of displaying the mere form of religion. There won't be any need to fight over liturgical form and Church Rites because the Holy mass will be a living reality expressed in the Eucharistic outpouring of the lives of each member of the Church. Liturgical beauty will pour out from the inside like living waters from the heart of Jesus.