Living With and In Mystery

By Sister Vicki Bergkamp, ASC

Mysteries have a significant role in our lives. The Easter season calls us to consider one of our most profound mysteries, that death leads to new life.

Some mysteries are meant to be solved and usually we enjoy this challenge whether it is a puzzle, a novel, a movie, or a life event.  We actually spend a lot of time solving mysteries.

Science is designed to solve the mysteries of our universe. Every time scientists solve a mystery, more is learned about nature and the cosmos. Sometimes these discoveries are so amazing, they take our breath away. In general, science takes a long time to come to these new understandings. However, we don’t experience that long process. We are given the outcome and are usually able to enjoy it immediately.

Some mysteries are meant to be enjoyed and, certainly, the season of Spring is one of them with the budding to life that we find in nature. Even the knowledge of how these plants come to new life does not take away the beauty of the mystery we see around us. We just enjoy this mystery of new life. We know how fleeting it can be, so we enjoy the moments we have.

So how do we know whether to just enjoy the mystery or delve into it in order to learn about it, or whether to solve the mystery and be done with it?  Maybe this is what we call maturity. Maybe over time, we develop a rhythm in our lives to deal with mystery in our life.

And then there is that Easter mystery we celebrate daily in the Eucharist, that process of dying and rising. Clearly this is a mystery that we struggle with in our own lives. We believe in the resurrection. We are not so sure about the dying part. Dying usually means we have to let go of something that has become important to us.

Maybe this still goes back to our maturity level, to all the lessons we have learned over the years of our life. Dying and rising are both mysteries in our life since we seem to need to learn the lessons of this dynamic over and over again in our lives.  And learning is a challenge, especially when it comes to the life of the soul.

Celebrate the mysteries of life, those that bring beauty, those that bring new understandings, and those that demand our time and attention. Mystery is a great gift our God has given us.