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Dan. 7: 9-14
Cycle A II Pet. 1: 16-19 6 August 2017
Mt. 17: 1-9

Our Feast today, the

Transfiguration, points
to what really is the
purpose of religion?
Fr. Godfrey Dickman was an
American monk of St. John's
Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota;
a leader of the Liturgical
Movement in the 20th c. and a
player during Vatican II,
instrumental in helping write
some parts of the Council
Document specially on the
Liturgy: Christus Dominus.
1 Godfried was asked once when he was 92:
"If you were young again, what would
you fight for in the Church?"

His prompt answer was "deification!"

The Church Fathers,
especially of the East, of
whom Dickman was an
expert, took it as axiomatic
that Christian Life is
something far more than
moral rectitude; more than
just being ethically upright or
moral person which they all
called theosis or deification.

Deus fit homo ut homo fieret Deus!

God became human so that the human might
become citizen or denizen of heaven.
Modern men have lost sight of
this! What gave the first
Christians this insight?

It is the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.


The great anticipation of the Resurrection is

the Transfiguration which is our Feast today.
The Resurrection gives men the deifying
effect of the Transfiguration.
The Transfiguration Account:
This ordinary man from
Nazareth went up the
mountain along with
three of his beloved
disciples. There he was
before them. (v.2)
2 The first we notice is that
Jesus' appearance became
more beautiful "his face
shone like the sun and his
clothes became white as
light." (v.3)
One of the features of beauty, according
to St. Thomas, is radiance (claritas).

This body of ours, whose beauty lasts

only for a fleeting moment, is for a time
deified, elevated, enhanced in his being
in the heavenly realm.
Second, in his
transfigured state, Jesus
transcends space and
time. Why?

We see him talking with

Moses and Elijah, figures
from the distant past.
2 In this world, we are caught in one
moment of space and time but in heaven,
we will live in the eternal now of God's
life outside, transcending, the two
dimensions of time and space.

Even if we savor this life and appreciate all

that it offers, we never feel entirely at home.
There is a feeling of restlessness in life
that comes not when we are down and
out but at our best points in life. There
is that nagging sense of there must be
something more.
3 Teresa of
Avila said
this life is
like a bad
night in a
bad hotel.
The hotel is not your home. You
are just passing by on a journey.
This is not what we are meant to
be. A higher and more beautiful
life awaits us. This is not
dualism but a sense of longing.
There is a new Kantism
where everything in the
world is reduced to ethics.
Contemporary culture
attempts to do just this!

Immanuel Kant But Jesus' Transfiguration

tells us against that trend.
The final purpose of our
religious devotion is not
that we become just nice
people with hearts of gold
but rather we become
transfigured as sons and
daughters of God.
In fact, everything in
the Church from
prayers to works and
the sacraments is
meant to foster our

At the end of the day, Godfrey Dickman is

right! What Transfiguration boils down to
is "deification." +ART