Dying is not extraneous to life; it is a part of the mystery. And you do not understand life until you stand under death. Yet both sides of the mystery must be experienced and trusted. The Eastern religions speak of the yin and yang of things; nature religions simply speak of darkness and light; the Jewish people speak of slavery and deliverance; we Christians speak of death and resurrection. But we are all pointing to God’s universal pattern of falling/failing and transformation. This is rightly described as being “reborn,” but has less to do with an emotional Church experience than a realigning life experience.
Yes, God is dying in all things, but God is risen in all things too. And both at the same time! Only wisdom can hold both together. Part of the great mystery of life is that it’s just as hard to see the ecstasy and beauty of things as it is to accept the crucifixion of things. Both together are the paschal mystery—Christ is dying; Christ is rising—all the time, everywhere—no exceptions.
Adapted from Hope Against Darkness:
The Transforming Vision of Saint Francis in an Age of Anxiety, pp. 57-58