Weir, Julian Alden, Knitting for Soldiers, 1918. The Phillips Collection.    

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation



Monday, November 17, 2014

The Christian mystics always go to the Trinitarian level, because here God is a verb more than a noun. God is a flow more than a substance. God is an experience more than an old man sitting on a throne. And we are inside that flow. We are indeed products and images of that outflowing. This is what all the language in John’s Gospel means when Jesus says in several places, “I have come forth to take you back with me” (see John 17). We end where we began.

Julian of Norwich says, “Greatly are we to rejoice that God dwells in our souls, and more greatly are we to rejoice that our soul dwells in God. Our soul is created to be God’s dwelling place, and the dwelling of our soul is God.” This we might now call interbeing, or life as participation. Julian continues: “It is a great understanding to see and to know inwardly that God who is our Creator still dwells within what he has created—God in his substance, of which substance we are what we are.” We share in the same substantial unity as God, she seems to say. This is not pantheism (I am God), but it is orthodox panen theism (God is in me and I am in God). We would call that ontological union or metaphysical union between two distinguishable beings, although God is not a being as much as Being Itself. In the end Julian is quite careful to preserve the mystery of twoness within the dance and flow of divine oneness.  We cannot bear the impossible burden of being God, but we can and should enjoy the privilege and dignity of being with and in God. Here we accept being fully and freely accepted, which for some sad reason is very hard for the ego to do.

Adapted from Intimacy: The Divine Ambush, disc 7
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