Commentary on the Gospel of

Claretian Publications Hong Kong


Sometimes on retreat I give lumps of potter’s clay to people and ask them to make various symbolic forms. Making things with clay is an unusual manner of making. Usually we make things either by addition or by subtraction. But, with clay you have the same amount of material from start to finish; there is no addition, no subtraction; instead it is transformation. It can be a small opening to transformation of the self. In The Way of Transformation, Karlfried von Duerkheim wrote: “It would be quite impossible for us to make any statement about the nature of Divine Being, were it not for identifiable encounters, experiences and revelations which in their power, significance and feeling, and in the sense of responsibility they bring, are so utterly different in quality from our usual experience of the world, that we cannot help but see them as manifestations of transcendence.” In other words, we need an occasional transfiguration. Our ordinary life, without addition or subtraction, needs to be suffused occasionally with what the Eastern Churches call “the light of Tabor.” We have tended to identify Christian doctrines with their formulation in fixed words, and then to describe everything else as ‘subjective’. We do so badly need the light of Tabor.


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