“To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda or even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery: it means to live in such a way that one’s life would not make sense if God did not exist.” Emmanuel Cardinal Suhard
I came across this quote by Suhard while reading some church history. Suhard was someone I hadn’t heard of before but his quote stood out and rang true. I needed to share it.
Some may think his thought is on the esoteric side. I would disagree. Perhaps instead, our definition of mystery is impoverished. Mystery is not something we just haven’t figured out yet. It is instead a compelling force that speaks of transcendent beauty and possibility and promise.
“A living mystery”, is something we too seldom encounter these days. St. Paul refers to the “mystery of Christ” or the “mystery of the gospel” over twenty times in his letters. I would think that living in such a way that recalls the “mystery of Christ” is exactly our calling.
As far as I can tell Cardinal Suhard tried to practice his preaching. As the Archbishop of Paris during the German occupation, he protested against the deportation of the Jews. He also protested against the deportation of young workers to Germany for forced labor and when this failed, he organized a program of clandestine chaplains to go to Germany with these youth.
Of course the way a Christian comes to reflect the “mystery of the gospel” will spring out of her own unique mystery, engaged as it is, with the “mystery of Christ”.