FROM THE BOUNDARY
We’ve all experienced beautiful moments when creation seems to sing its love. It might be when we’re on the beach and see the little crabs darting in the froth of a wave. It might be when we hold a puppy and it nuzzles into the fold of our neck. It might be when we see little children talking intently with each other or with their dads and mums. It might be when we see the new moon to the west or the full moon when it hangs low in the sky over St. Philip. They’re moments when we breathe the boundlessness of life and its mystery too. We know from experience that they’re limitless moments, and they’re all manifestations of God’s essence – just as we are.
The fact is, we know God from what IS and all those things we see with the eyes of our hearts. God’s not somewhere ‘up there’. He’s not an occasional visitor. He’s here now, with you, with me, in you, in me – and beyond us all. Go “ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air and they will tell you”. There’s no dualism of matter and spirit. They’re inseparable. All’s one, for God created it all. We know Him, not from a book nor through the Church. We know Him through our experiences translated by his gift to us – our heart’s love.
Last week’s Column ended by saying that the ‘heart’, however we conceive it, is the lantern we bring to the world proclaiming who we are. It’s source is the love within. Didn’t God bring light to the world? Well, that light is the heart of life. The darkness ‘will never overcome it’. It’s a “light that enlightens everyone coming into the world”. It’s a light which is deeper and more invasive than all our darknesses. It’s a light which radiates from God’s love as with our love. It’s unknowable, yes, an inaccessible mystery just as we are ourselves. It’s invisible, yet it flows through all that’s visible in our world. Jesus, the ‘Light-Man,’ came to remind us of it and liberate us from our self-imposed darknesses. We can’t remain fugitives from God’s light, the true light at the heart of all of us, forever. How can we be fugitives from God’s endless glory?
We’re part of it, you see. What’s deepest in us, our love, our creativity, is the essence of God Himself. It’s we who are the Garden of Eden, and God ever walks there, searching and fortifying our love, that love which was “in the beginning” and ever rests at the heart of life.
Why, then, does the Church teach that we’re far, far less than we are? Sure we often forget who we are and the image of which we were made. Ignorance, fear, falsehood – yes, of course they grasp us. But sin can’t displace what God has given us, our human nature. It’s a perversion of what we truly are. Creation can never be separated from the Creator. If we don’t always reflect God in our lives, it’s not so much because we’re ‘human’ – as we’ve been taught. It’s because we’ve become less than human, a humanity sacred to the Creator, a holy mystery rooted in light and love. Isn’t it time to stop living out our sense of failure and unworthiness? It’s a con job from those who seek to control us. The task of the Church is to remind us, and to keep reminding us, that we are ‘of God’, that we manifest the light of God’s love, that our instincts which tell us what’s right or wrong come from God, that our senses are not servants of sin, and that ultimately we’re our own judges. Repentance comes from the heart not the dictates of men.
To do this would be living the Gospel. Did Jesus really come to redeem what God made? Or did he come to reveal or remind us by grace of whom and what we truly are, to liberate us from our self-imposed darknesses, and to show us that all our failings can never be sufficient to remove our ‘god-ness’? Doesn’t he show us that the light of God is the property of each and every day, in the present moment, in everyone we meet, and at the heart of everything – all the inaccessible mysteries of our lives? And doesn’t he come, too, to remind us of the centrality of love, God-planted, which makes our lives incarnate blessings in all the inter-relatedness of life? All of us, you see, carry the name Ashish, Blessing, though we won’t find it on our birth certificates. It’s the name God has given us and we’ll carry it to the grave and beyond.
Well, so much for ‘Love actually’. It all makes so much more sense to me than the idea of sacrifice, of God crucifying himself to redeem us from the doings of a wicked snake, of the idea of carried-over sin in manky lumps which make us deformed degenerates unless we do as we’re told. For God’s sake, God is bigger than all that miserable stuff isn’t He?
Go safely, then – until the next time.
Poetry from the boundary: “I will arise and go now, for... while I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, I hear it in the deep heart’s core” (Yeats).