The Feast of the Transfiguration is all about seeing things as they really are. Last week I was saying Mass in our little chapel at school, and it seemed to me that there was, beneath the altar, another whole realm of being. This other realm was connected to this visible realm in more complex and beautiful patterns than I could ever comprehend. It was as if I was getting a glimpse of that reality–a reality more beautiful and sad and glorious than I can express. That reality was at once more complex and more simple than anything here. It transcended all our attempts at understanding–transcending past, present and future and the whole physical cosmos in its breadth. It was a realm in which emotion and intellect are one; where hopes and dreams are not empty, but simply at one with reality. It was the land of ideals, of forms, or realities more sweet and dazzling than we can know.
It was as if this realm was in and through and above and below the simple sacrifice of the Mass that I was offering, that I was caught up in something far bigger and more beautiful than my own small actions. It was as if the Mass was the way in to this other realm. It was the looking glass, the wardrobe, the door into the other side. It was the rock on which I slept, with the angels descending and ascending. It was Bethlehem and Bethel–the House of Bread and the House of God.