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Thomas Merton stated that the True Self should not be thought of as anything different than life itself—not just one’s little life, but also the Big Life. I’m not going to call the True Self life, nor being, because the deepest nature of this life and this being is love. Love is what you were made for, and love is who you are. When you live outside of love, you do not live within your true being. You do not live your true life, and you do not live with any high degree of consciousness. The Song of Songs states that love is stronger than death. “The flash of love is a flash of fire/A flame of Yahweh himself” (8:6). It’s a little experience of the one Big Flame, and we’re just a little tiny spark of this universal reality that is life itself, consciousness itself, being itself, love itself, God itself.
Let me define this one love as best I can.Love is known when we recognize our self in the other. We are then no longer other, and that’s the ecstasy of love. Then we’re all in this thing called life together. We have to start with little others—our partner, friend, lover, child, parent, dog or cat—to be ready for the great leap into the Great Other. This is a whole mirroring process, and God does it best of all by mirroring us perfectly and with total acceptance. In fact, that is what God alone can do.
Paul says it so well: “I shall know even as I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). In other words, you need to let yourself be known nakedly by God, no pretense, no dressing up. You are who you are who you are! No trying to make yourself something other than who you really are. All God can love is who you really are, because that’s the only you that really exists. All the rest is just in your head.
Tuesday, February 25 @ 5:00 p.m. (U.S. Mountain Time)
Fr. Richard introduces us to the biblical writer who has often been misunderstood. Paul's message is not individualistic but cosmic, not moral but mystical, not so much about Jesus but about the Christ.
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