Finally, through what can only be described as a miracle, I have finished Transformation in Christ. I cannot remember exactly how long it has taken me but I would say it was 4-5 months. Of course, I did read it very slowly on purpose. There is too much in this book to read it quickly. Instead, it must be mulled over continually, which is what I tried to do. And as difficult as it is to take so much time reading such a long book (500 pages) the hard part has only just begun – applying what I have read to my life.
While after reading this book I do understand some about the thought of von Hildebrand, I am by no means an expert. Nor does reading this book qualify me as an expert in Catholic spirituality. But, it has greatly improved my knowledge of it. Our lives as Catholics is a continual process of becoming more like Christ – a goal we will not reach on this earth. But, at the same time, we do have a duty to continually strive towards that goal and that is what I hope, with God's help, to continue to do. And I think that the works of von Hildebrand will play a big part, especially Transformation in Christ, in my own transformation.
I have used Jesus' last words on the Cross in the title for this post. This was done for the obvious reason that I have finally completed this book. But, and more importantly, I have used our Lord's words because they are an indication of what we all must do to become like Christ – we must die. Dying to ourselves is a common theme in Transformation. If we are not willing to give up ourselves and our selfish desires then how can we ever love God and others as our Lord commanded? We must remember that through our Baptisms we have all participated in Christ's own death and Resurrection; and for the rest of our lives thereafter, we must live out that death by living our lives for Him.