I love that word transcendence. Webster’s defines transcend: “as the ability to rise above or extend notably beyond ordinary limits.” I often wonder is it possible for us to rise above our normal limits? I see people who appear to ascend above and beyond the snags and bumps that hold me prisoner. I observe with great envy individuals who seem to move through life with their feet just slightly above the ground. How do they do it? How does one step up and over the slick, dark patches of betrayal and disappointment? What operating system are they on? And more importantly, where do I download?
The above quote from our new and quite dazzling Pope would suggest that there is something greater inside the human person enabling us to link with a superior strength, courage and wisdom than we personally possess. My Spiritual Director is always (irritatingly) reminding me to discuss my anxieties with God in prayer. He wants me to ask God why my mind replays the past and dwells in places of regret. Perhaps I am reluctant to open this dialog for fear that God might actually release me from familiar preoccupations and lift me skyward? Maybe we human beings are always just a little nervous about heights.
I suppose there is an extraordinary distinction to be made between the person who stands on the curb and marvels at the altitude of a tower and the other personality who immediately (or eventually, in my case) decides to climb to the top and take in the great vista. It must be a tremendous view from the skyscraper of freedom, forgiveness, hope and infinite possibilities. I don’t think I can manage the express elevator but I am prepared to take the stairs . . . even if takes a lifetime.