“Now what I want to suggest is on this whole topic of the human addiction, the addiction to control and our addiction to want to play God, that when the darkness comes into our lives, when things are not going well, then in fact we want to flee. Instead of staying there, instead of staying with the darkness and staying with the questions, we flee. And as I mentioned in a previous presentation, we then become attached to other things. And that the whole point is that in the darkness, if we stay with the darkness, if we stay with the pain, if we stay with the questions, that’s really where God lives [emphasis added] and ultimately that’s where our ultimate desires are fulfilled.”  Fr. Anthony Ciorra, 12 Step Spirituality: A Guide for Everyone (audiobook)

The quote above was part of the reading for the Wednesday, 8 pm (EDT). Calix online meeting, 16 August, 2023.   This was the fifth meeting of the series; there’ll be approximately 24 to cover the 12 lectures given in the audiobook.  The 12 Steps are covered, but not sequentially.  All have found the material helpful and, better yet, thought-provoking and inspiring.  Since this is an audiobook and not available in printed format, I have managed to transcribe (with occasional errors) each lecture so that printed format will be available by Zoom sharing.  I’ll add one other comment on this lecture.

Fr. Ciorra proposes von Balthasar’s “Theology of Holy Saturday” as a model for “embracing the darkness.”   Although von Balthasar’s proposal that Christ suffered in Hell with us on Saturday is controversial, It certainly makes sense that we have to endure darkness, St. John’s of the Cross “Dark Night of the Soul,” on our road to union with God.  Fr. Ciorra explains it better than I can, so I’ll quote:

He [von Balthasar] believed that the Holy Saturday experience brings us closest to God’s beauty. On the human journey, we often are eager to escape from the darkness of Holy Saturday to the light of Easter and the Resurrection. The temptation is to leap from the drama of the passion of Good Friday to the glory of Easter Sunday. To honor the fact that we spend most of our lives in the in-between moments of Holy Saturday is to accept the poverty of our humanity. [emphasis added] Balthazar invites us to pause with Holy Saturday and not to rush into the celebration of Easter. Holy Saturday is, in my opinion, I like to call it a melancholic day that is a symbol for a lot of what I’ve been saying here in this conference, filled with more questions than answers. Balthazar suggests that we call the day holy because it is then that the creator God of Genesis invites us to become co-creators.”  op.cit.

I invite you all to come to this Calix meeting and add your own thoughts.