Summer’s Bold Beauty
Thanks to a recommendation by Austen Ivereigh (on the America site), I have been led to the works of Michael Casey, an Australian Cistercian monk. I’ ve been reading his Fully Human, Fully Divine with much pleasure and profit.
The book is a theological-spiritual meditation upon the Tradition’s teaching that, in Christ, humankind is called to transformation and divinization (theosis).
As a Cistercian, Casey draws upon the rich heritage of the Cistercian fathers: Aelred of Rievaulx, Isaac of Stella, and, especially, Bernard of Clairvaux, whose feast the Church celebrates today.
Casey concludes his book with a chapter, “Eternity,” and writes:
We are divinized to the extent that nothing of our humanity is denied, despised, or ignored, when nothing of what makes us human is lost or left behind. Just as God’s Son lost nothing of his divinity during his sojourn on earth, so we will carry to eternal life everything in our lives that is genuinely human.
May the humanity of Jesus inspire us to accept our own humanity in all its present ambiguity, so that through him and with him and in him we may become, in a manner that is beyond our imagining, full sharers in his divinity.
And Casey quotes an “Ode on Eternal Day” from Bernard’s “Sermons on the Song of Songs:”
O never-ending solstice when daylight lasts forever.
O noon-day light, marked with the mildness of Spring,
stamped with summer’s bold beauty, enriched with autumn’s fruit –
and lest I seem to forget — calm with winter’s rest from toil.