As in a Glass, Darkly . . .

oz-sepiaAs a child watching “The Wizard of Oz” for the first time, I was amazed by the clever use of color. The sepia tone used while Dorothy was at the farm let us know how Dorothy felt there: it was a lackluster, unpredictable place of boredom alternating with danger.

Along these lines, I once watched a PBS program that documented a whole community of people who were not merely color blind, but could only see the world in varying shades of gray to black. I would think that must be a dismal existence, but if that’s all you ever knew then you’re really not missing anything.

Watching this strange report (on color TV no less), I wondered: I think I’m seeing everything in living color, but what if there are colors that I know nothing of, simply because I’m not equipped with the appropriate retinal cones to see them?

In this life we’re not fully equipped, spiritually, to see or understand the splendor that is God. Fortunately, however, St. Paul tells us that even now we may be given a partial glimpse of God’s beauty: We see now indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. Yes, even in this life, if we are willing, the Holy Spirit will draw us ever closer to God, revealing wonderful things to those who seek him in prayer and acts of love, bringing us an increase of peace.

In the common manner of speaking, words dealing with vision have two meanings: one, our ability to perceive the physical world with our bodily eyes. The other and even more precious meaning is the ability to understand as, for instance, when we use the expression,. “Oh, I see what you mean!” 

St. Paul prays “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . may give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of our hearts be enlightened, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones.” (Ephesians 1:17-18)

Dorothy didn’t stay in that drab world. After an arduous journey, filled with a variety of threats, she finally woke up, finding herself in a transformed world of brilliant Technicolor: the Land of Oz.

oz

If we earthlings can marvel at technology that accurately reproduces the full range of nature’s colors, how much more of a miracle will God perform for us, transforming the drab colors of our limited understanding and existence into the dazzling reality of seeing the infinity beauty of God in our heavenly home to come. For even the most beautiful sights of our natural world are nothing compared to the wonders of the Beatific Vision. This is what St. Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians:

Eye has not seen, . . . nor has it entered the human heart, what things God has prepared for those who love him.

Corresponding to how closely we imitate Christ, our spiritual vision will ultimately be transformed and we will be given the ability to understand fully, knowing God as he knows us, and seeing him face to face.

 

Author: Rosalie P. Krajci

Rosalie P. Krajci, Ph. D., is a Benedictine Oblate of Mt. Saviour Monastery in Pine City, NY. She is retired from two careers: as a language teacher and as a consultant in human resources management. Her third and most rewarding career is as a spiritual director and freelance writer. Rosalie and her husband Tom raised seven children. Now widowed, she lives in the Finger Lakes area in upstate New York.

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