When we finally allow life to take us through the Paschal Mystery of passion, death, and resurrection, we also will be transformed into the Christ Mystery. At this stage we will have found the capacity to hold the pain of being human, not to fear it or hate it or project it onto other people. Actually, it is really God holding the pain in us, because our little self can’t do it.
But the Big Self, God in us, can absorb it, forgive it, and resolve it. We know it is grace when we no longer need to hate or punish others, even in our mind. We know someone else is working through us, and for us. Our little life is not our own; henceforward, we do not need it so much. We are now a part of the Big and One Life of the eternal and cosmic Christ, “who will inherit everything and through whom everything that is, was made” (Hebrews 1:2). The early Franciscan tradition put it this way: Christ was the first idea in the mind of God and will be the last idea. As Scripture puts it, He is “the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13). History now has a definitive arc and direction—and we are part of that arc of history and God—which includes both life and death. The life part is so big now that we can trust the death part.