Book and accompanying CD are a timely reminder that life is everlasting.
A highlight of the 2018 Magnificat Day of Thanksgiving in Brooklyn was the premier of The Seven Mysteries of Salvation, a two-act meditation in music and drama penned by Pierre-Marie Dumont, Magnificat’s publisher.
In a darkened and hushed Kings Theatre, the crowd of 3,000 enjoyed symphonic performances of famous compositions by Mozart, Verdi, and others combined with dramatic performances of imagined conversations between God and various biblical figures, including Eve, the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, and St. Paul. The meditation closed with Fauré’s In Paradisum and a fierce debate between the Beloved Disciple and Lucifer.
The entire symphonic and dramatic meditation revolved around what Dumont identifies as seven “mysteries of salvation”: the mystery of evil, the triumph of mercy, the triumph of humility, the mystery of compassion, the triumph of the human body, the triumph of the new commandment, and love’s final triumph. These mysteries—or triumphs—highlight specific moments in God’s rescue of man and woman from evil and death.
The meditation premiered in Brooklyn is now available to all. Magnificat has recently published Your Life Is Everlasting, which turns the two-act dramatic meditation into a 7-day guided retreat. All of the beauty and drama of the stage is now contained in a handsome, easy-to-use book.
Your Life Is Everlasting guides individuals, couples, and families—and whatever other groups might use the book—through each of the seven mysteries of salvation. One mystery is highlighted per day. Each day’s meditation begins with a musical selection, which can be played from the provided CD. Next, there is a brief reading from Scripture. Then follows the centerpiece of the meditation, Dumont’s reflection on the day’s mystery expressed dramatically in a conversation between God and one of his creatures. The meditation closes with a period of silence and a final prayer.
In his prologue to Your Life Is Everlasting, Dumont explains why he composed these meditations:
Our existence began in time, on the day we were conceived, and we should be fully aware that it will know no end. God’s creating design was for our life to continue into eternity, after the end of time, by being “adopted” through love into the Divine Life, for the sake of our own unending happiness.
To be sure, earthly life is filled with hardship and sorrow, the effects of sin, which point forward to the tragedy of death. But, Dumont reminds us, “thanks to the definitive victory of God’s love for us, we no longer fear death; it will only be a ‘passover’ on the way to eternal life, a baptism that will allow us to pass from this world into the arms of our heavenly Father, having been delivered from evil forever.”
We are forgetful creatures, and so we all need reminding that life is everlasting. Thanks to Dumont and Magnificat, we have a beautiful and sensuous reminder of this mystery.