Can you think back to the year 2007 and tell me what you were doing on March 1? You did something, if you were living, not so? What was it that made this date so special? How about the other dates you have experienced? They come and they go and are forgotten. Does that mean they were insignificant and a waste of time? On March 1, did you do something that would somehow change your future for the better?
I have a problem even remembering if I took my heart medication in the morning, much less what happened on March 1, 2007. I could say that about any date. I don’t know if I had lunch with someone, went to bed early, watched television, or read a book. Does that mean the sum of my life is meaningless?
When I was thinking about my Lectio Divina passage (Phil 2:5) the following thoughts came to my mind. What good is my past life, such as a day long ago that I can’t even remember very well? Did I start the day out with my Morning Prayer? Did I do anything in that day to bring me closer to God? All these days in my past seem to be easily forgotten. Do they help me get to Heaven, if I can’t even remember what happened?
If you have not read about the myth of Ariadne’s Thread, do so now. Google it. I thought of something similar, except my thread was golden and it was to help us through the Labyrinth of life and not that of Mithras. Here are my reflections:
THE GOLDEN THREAD
When each of us are born, we find ourselves in a Labyrinth of false passages and turns that all seem the same. Life is one of no hope, no exits, just the same routine of trying to find meaning in a maze that all looks the same. John Paul Statre wrote a play describing this feeling. It is called No Exit. https://archive.org/stream/NoExit/NoExit_djvu.txt This is Original Sin, where the only path is one which is negative, and leads to nowhere. For those Baptised, through faith, the Labyrinth is still there, still has a maze of differing ideas about what is true and meaningful, still with difficulties in walking down the parh. There is a difference with those who are Baptized. First, there is Hope that you can get out of the maze. You are still going to have to endure the stress of finding your way out of the Labyrinth, but now you have a Golden Thread to help you. At Baptism, you were presented with a Golden Thread by Christ. He tied it around your heart and He tied the other end around His Heart. When you reach the age of spiritual maturity, i.e., you realize that there is a Labyrinth and that you have a Golden Thread that links you to Christ, you can begin your journey. Christ won’t make the journey for you but He will make it with you, guiding you by the Golden Thread. If you follow this thread (Scriptures, Body of Christ, Eucharist, Forgiveness and Mercy, and loving others as Christ has loved you), you can get out of the maze, even if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. The Golden Thread won’t stop you from dying, it won’t make your journey any easier to walk, it won’t be a conveyor belt on which you get and get off when you die, it won’t help you get rid of your faults and failings, it won’t save you from cancer or alcoholism, but it will save you because you are linked indelibly in Baptism with Christ Jesus, His Heart to your heart. This is why I think contemplation is important for me as an aspiring Lay Cistercian. I want to love God with my whole heart, my mind, and my strength, and thus love my neighbor as Christ as loved me. When Christ says, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, think of the Golden Thread that links your heart with the Heart of Christ. This is our way out of the Labyrinth of despair and sin, our way out of trying to be god, our reliance only on our own fallible self for salvation.
Praise be to the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was,and who is to come at the end of the ages. Amen and Amen. –Cistercian Doxology