Gazing on the Transfigured One
Meeting Christ in His Mysteries by Gregory Collins, OSB is a book I have already recommended highly. Part Two is entitled: “Meditating on the Mysteries in the Liturgical Year” and provides rich reflections for the liturgical seasons.
The Feast of the Transfiguration receives much more liturgical and theological attention in the Christian East than it does in the Roman tradition. But, thankfully, the Gospel of the Second Sunday of Lent does bring our prayerful gaze upon this central mystery of Christ … and of his followers.
Here is what Collins says about this further dimension of the Mystery:
The full vision of this light will be seen in all its splendor only in the eschaton, at the end, when Christ shall come again in glory. Yet the light of grace and that of glory are essentially the same. They are simply different modes of the overflowing radiance of presence which God confers on those who gaze on him in love.
A further consequence of this vision is its slow transformation of the self. Contemplative prayer and the dark enlightenment of faith leads to a new understanding of the self, an experience that is by turns consoling and desolating. God’s purifying light is deeply disillusioning in the sense that it gradually purges away all false ideas and images.
Gradually, God’s purifying light burns away the webs we project and weave around ourselves. It drives out foolish fantasies from the mind, replacing the spiritual dainties we confect to gorge our egoism, with the hard and dry but more substantial bread of reality.
Here is Beato Angelico’s vision: