629 Everything becomes enchanting once we have full sight.
Day 629 Sunday, December 5, 2021
Everything becomes enchanting once we have full sight.
The purpose of prayer and religious seeking is to see the truth about Reality, to see what is. And at the bottom of what is, is always goodness. The foundation is always love. Here is a mantra that we might repeat throughout our day: “Divine life is living itself in me. I am aware of life living itself in me.”
We cannot not live in the presence of the Divine. We are totally surrounded by Spirit, even as we read these words. This not some New Age idea; recall St. Patrick’s (c. 373–c. 463) blessing,
I arise today Through the strength of heaven; Light of the sun, Splendor of fire, Speed of lightning, Swiftness of the wind, Depth of the sea, Stability of the earth, Firmness of the rock. I arise today Through God’s strength to pilot me; God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s hosts to save me Afar and anear, Alone or in a multitude. Christ shield me today Against wounding Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me. I arise today Through the mighty strength Of the Lord of creation.
Once I can see the Mystery here, and trust the Mystery even in this piece of clay that I am, then I can also see it in you. We are eventually able to see the divine image within ourselves, in each other, and in all things.
Finally, the seeing is one.
How we see anything is how we will see everything.
Jesus pushes this seeing to the social edge. Can we recognize the image of Christ in the least of our fellow human beings? That is his only description of the final judgment (see Matthew 25).
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous* will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the father will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Nothing about ten commandments, nothing about church attendance—simply a matter of our ability to see. Can we meet Christ in the “nobodies” who can’t play our game of success? In those who cannot reward us in return? When we see the image of God where we are not accustomed to seeing the image of God, then we see with the infinitely tender eyes of God.
Finally, Jesus says we have to love and recognize the divine image even in our enemies (see Matthew 5:44). He teaches what many leaders, spiritual and otherwise, could never demand of their followers: love of the enemy.
Logically that makes no sense. Yet soulfully it makes absolute sense, because in terms of the soul, it really is all or nothing.
Either we see the divine image in all created things, or we end up not seeing it very well at all.
There is a first epiphany, and gradually the circle keeps moving outward, widening its embrace. It is almost the core meaning of a whole and holy life!
The Christian vision is that the whole world is a sacred temple. If that is true, then our enemies are sacred, too. Who else created them but God?
The ability to respect the outsider is probably the litmus test of true seeing. And it doesn’t stop with human beings and enemies and the “least of these.” It moves to frogs and water and weeds. Everything becomes enchanting once we have full sight.
One God, one world, one truth, one suffering, and one love (see Ephesians 4:4–6). All we can do is participate and enjoy. I love to ask Christians—why would anyone be afraid of that?