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45. The Transfiguration

1. In St. Matthew's Gospel (chap. 17) we read that ourLord was transfigured in the sight of his apostles Peter, James,and John. "And he was transfigured before them. And his facedid shine as the sun, and his garments became white as snow."Thus the three apostles had a glimpse of such glory as would cometo them after their life of fidelity to God, through hardships andtrials. Our Lord had told the apostles of his coming Passion beforehe gave them this encouraging experience of seeing theTransfiguration. Christ as man had the glory of the beatific visionfrom the first instant of his existence in Mary's womb. But hewas not to have the "overflow of heavenly glory into hisbody" until his Resurrection from the dead.

2. In the Transfiguration, our Lord showed by way ofanticipation the clarity of his bodily glory. This was theessential clarity of true heavenly glory, here manifested in a newmode, that is, as miraculously produced. In the glory following theResurrection, the clarity of the glorified body is not a miracle;it belongs to the glorified body as such.

3. Our Lord chose as witnesses to the Transfiguration, notonly the three apostles, but Moses and Elias who appearedvisibly.

4. As at the baptism of Christ by St. John, so here on themountain of Transfiguration, the voice of God the Father proclaimedthe divine Sonship of Christ. The baptism of Christ by Johnforetold the true baptism which brings grace; the Transfigurationforetold thetriumph of grace in glory. Both grace and gloryare available to man, but only through the Son of God who becameman. Hence it is notably suitable that the divinity of Christshould be divinely proclaimed on these two occasions: the baptismby John, and the Transfiguration on the mount.

"God looks neither at long nor beautiful prayers, but at those that come from the heart."
The Cure D'Ars

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"It is not God's will that we should abound in spiritual delights, but that in all things we should submit to his holy will."
Blessed Henry Suso

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"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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