As I have said before, it is wonderful to go to Mass and there find that the Liturgy speaks to where you are at, to where you thoughts are at that time. Last week was such an occasion. The Gospel was, indeed, Good News, as it spoke of "how blest are the poor in spirit, for theirs IS the kingdom of Heaven”. The emphasis is on IS, that means the here and now. The Kingdom of Heaven is not just something that is going to happen at some time in the future, no, it is happening for the poor in spirit, right now. What a wonder-full statement that is. To put it simply, all I have to do is embrace my poverty of spirit and I will be lead into the Kingdom of God. With everything else that is simple, it is also so difficult. We have all heard "do what you are doing", "be where you are at", easily said, but this so very difficult to do.
Coming to grips with our poverty of spirit is a life long journey. Metz says, "we are born human and spend our whole life discovering what human means”. The world in which we live in, and which Madison Avenue rules, does not allow for too much poverty or weakness, unless it is going to enable them to sell us something. If there is a product to be sold, our human condition will be exploited, not for our benefit, but for their gain. But at whose expense? Ours, of course. The Madison Avenue world, is not about being, it is about doing. We must somehow tinker with who we are, rather than listen to St. Paul, "By the grace of God I am who I am". So in God’s time, which is Kairos, we are in the best place as far as God is concerned, why not leave well alone? We are always struggling with loving ourselves as we are, so we can encounter God’s presence. Where there is love, there is God. Where there is no love, there is no God. Metz also warns us of the fact that sinful flight from God begins with sinful flight from self. We will always struggle with loving ourselves as God loves us.
Thomas Merton has written the following, “True love and prayer are really learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and your heart turns to stone”.
It is in the hour of our greatest darkest that we discover that we are never alone”- Joyce Rupp
We have with God, after all, only what we have in our human experience. In some cases, because the reality of unconditioned love was not modeled for us and we end up as human doers, rather than human beings, seeking perfection. We buy into the lie, “I am what I do”, rather than believe I Am Loved As I AM., without condition, restriction, or reservation. Jesus in the Gospel warns us, “I give you peace not the way the world gives it to you”. We are in the constant need of deepening our belief in those word of Jesus. When we live out our daily lives within this reality, we will live a Kingdom based life, of peace, joy, and love. This is the AISLING of our God. The dream of our God, for you, and I.
Why then do we not live out that dream, why do we do our best to screw it up? We, as human beings are more inclined to listen to this lie, that happiness comes to us though power, property and prestige. When we follow this line of reasoning, we end up with the father of lies, the devil, and in Hell. We need to accept that we are the creators of our own hell. Those are tough words "our self created hell" We make the choice every moment of the day, to choose the life of an authentic human being, or choose to live a lie which only brings hatred, violence and death. When we embrace our poverty, when we embrace a humanity of which is perfectly imperfect. To my mind, this is what Jesus means when He says, “If you are going to be my disciple, you are going to take up your cross each day and follow me”. Each morning, we take up our cross, which is an action and follow in the footsteps of the One Perfect Human Being. We are making an act of faith in the fact that we are in the PROCESS of being perfected. This process will not however be completed in this life. The perfection which we so seek in this life, will only come to us after our death, in the RESURRECTION.
“What we need to remember is that we are carried in God’s womb, in God’s divine heart, even when we don’t know it, even when God seems far away.” – Sue Monk Kidd
A dreamer’s journey continues….