Cdl. Anders Arborelius: Even Our Ordinary Lives Participate in the Mystery of Christ

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By Cardinal Anders Arborelius, O.C.D., Catholic Exchange, July 7, 2020

Lars Anders Cardinal Arborelius O.C.D. is a Swedish Roman Catholic cardinal. He has been the Bishop of Stockholm since 1998 and was elected as the first ever cardinal from Sweden in 2017. His latest book, Carmelite Spirituality: The Way of Carmelite Prayer and Contemplation, is available from Sophia Institute Press.
This article is from a chapter in Cardinal Arborelius’s latest book, Carmelite Spirituality: The Way of Carmelite Prayer and Contemplation. It is available as an ebook or paperback from Sophia Institute Press.


Cardinal Anders Arborelius, O.C.D.The following is a prayer from St. Patrick’s breastplate:

Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ about me,
Christ be this day within and without me, Christ the
lowly and meek, Christ the all-powerful, be in the heart
of each one to whom I speak — in the mouth of each who
speaks to me, in all who draw near me, or see or hear me.

St. Patrick shows us that Christ is everywhere. We are never without Him. Our lives as Christians are lives “through Him, with Him, in Him.” Nothing whatsoever in our lives is insignificant. Everything is connected with the person of Jesus Christ, God-with-us. It is His heartfelt desire to encounter us in everything that happens. He wants us to belong to Him in such an intimate way that every event will bring us closer to Him.

Every event, no matter how insignificant, in the life of man is contained in the essential event of history, which is the coming of God in Jesus Christ. Every event, every word, every sigh, therefore, has an incalculable value and dignity. Our personal history is a history of salvation. Jesus wants to save us, all of us, in the midst of all the ordinary events. Every event in life is somehow a participation in the mystery of Christ, which is taking place here and now. Through our baptismal union with Christ, His mystery becomes ours. Here and now, we live His Passion and Resurrection. His Paschal Mystery is also ours. We do not live on our own, never. We live, we breathe, we work, we laugh, we cry in Christ.  …