When I was really getting my teeth into the importance of the incarnation, I happened upon this interview of Archbishop Michael Ramsey (b. 1904). (You might remember that, when Bishop Bill was here for the Triduum, he taught on Archbishop Michael.) Anyway, I saved it, and I watch it again every once in a while.
I find the whole interview interesting, but my favorite part of it is when Archbishop Michael starts to get excited about the incarnation. He’s talking to the interviewer about our God being a God of wholeness, and by the end he’s practically shouting:
Incarnation means “made flesh.” It’s St John’s teaching that the Word became flesh. And flesh, of course, doesn’t just mean our skin. It means humanity. It’s about the total being. That’s why when people start talking about “souls,” I pull them up by talking about the incarnation, which means THE WORD MADE FLESH!
There’s a pause, like he’s just realized how loud he is. Then they both laugh.
To be honest, I’ve been slow to come around on soaking prayer. And maybe, a little bit, about healing prayer in general. But when I think about this soaking prayer coming up, I think things like, “Does it work?” “What if it doesn’t work?” “That’s definitely worse…” “AND it’s weird.” “This is going to be wildly uncomfortable, I can tell.” “Good thing Fr Ray’s leading it…”
But then I think about Archbishop Michael. Our God is a God of wholeness. Am I committed to the doctrine of the Incarnation? Because if I am, then God cares about my wholeness, my humanity. My body. My feelings. My psychological balance. My neck being stiff. “It’s about the total being.” Christianity isn’t just about my soul. “CHRISTIANITY IS ABOUT THE WORD MADE FLESH!”
Listen, if you’re busy, you’re busy. But don’t avoid it because Christianity is just about your soul. That’s heresy. And certainly don’t avoid it because you don’t need prayer. That’s nonsense. Our God is a God of wholeness. We could all use more of that.
On May 19, at 5:00pm, Christ the Redeemer will host a session of Soaking Prayer.