Mystic or Mad!
Fr. Francis Scaria
Mystics see what others do not see. Ordinarily people see what is visible to the naked eyes. Mystics have insight and inner-sight. Insight is their ability to see what is within. Inner-sight is their ability to see from within. This is possible because the mystic is one with God and is able to see what God sees, rather he/she is able to see through the eyes of God. For others who see only external and material things, mystical deeds are mad actions. When Christ appeared to Saul, “the men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one” (Acts 9:7). Most of what mystics see others do not see and most of what they hear others do not hear. The mystic has a secret line with God, the ‘revealer of mysteries’ (Dan 2:47). Mystics sometimes receive communication codes from God which only they can decode.
Mystics hear the voice of silence loud and clear, like Elijah. This is where they are different from others. Others hear noises, but mystics hear the silence. Others would hear the noise of the storm and the earthquakes, but the mystics hear the sound of the gentle breeze. They are enveloped in silence because their souls have found ‘rest’ in God.
Mysticism is madness in the right sense. It is being mad for God. The mystical wisdom goes much beyond the empirical knowledge. A mystic plunges deep into the unknown realm of God and is enveloped by the presence of the Almighty. A mystic sees God everywhere and everything else through God. The mystics “count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing” (Phil 3:8) God.
Mystics are “those who have not seen and yet believe” and so they are blessed (Jn 20:29). They are surer of the unseen. Mystics see deeper and higher realities. They see the realities above and realities below. They have a penetrating perception.
A real Christian has to be a mystic because only then he is able to take up the cross. For “the joy that was set before him” Jesus “endured the cross” (Heb 12:2). Mystics perceive joy not sorrow in the cross. Mystics see wine not water in the ‘stone jars’. They keep the Heavenly “Father's commandments and abide in his love” so that their “joy may be full” (Jn 15:10-11). They have the divine “joy fulfilled in themselves” (Jn 17:13). They realize that “the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17). They choose “to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Heb 11:25).
A real Christian mystic looks forward to martyrdom, because he relies on Jesus’ words: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13).
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