Mirroring the Divine

January 11th, 2018 by Dave Leave a reply »

Richard Rohr
Thursday, January 11, 2018

In Christianity the inner self is simply a stepping stone to an awareness of God. Man [sic] is the image of God, and his inner self is a kind of mirror in which God not only sees Himself, but reveals Himself to the “mirror” in which He is reflected. Thus, through the dark, transparent mystery of our own inner being we can, as it were, see God “through a glass.” All this is of course pure metaphor. It is a way of saying that our being somehow communicates directly with the Being of God, Who is “in us.” If we enter into ourselves, find our true self, and then pass “beyond” the inner “I,” we sail forth into the immense darkness in which we confront the “I AM” of the Almighty. —Thomas Merton [1]
Your life is not about you; you are about Life. You are an instance of a universal, eternal pattern. The One Life that many call “God” is living itself in you, through you, and as you! You have never been separate from God except in your mind. Can you imagine that?!
This realization is an earthquake in the brain, a hurricane in the heart, a Copernican revolution in the mind, and a monumental shift in consciousness. Yet most of us do not seem interested in it. It is too big to imagine and can only be revealed slowly.
One of my favorite Eastern Fathers, Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022), taught “What I have seen is the totality recapitulated as One, received not in essence but by participation.” [2] He’s not saying, “I am God.” No one can or wants to live up to that! He is saying that we objectively participate in the One Life of God (panentheism rather than pantheism).
We are much more prepared to understand this in a post-Einstein world—where energy, movement, or life itself is the one constant, and not an isolated substance. We don’t manufacture our core identity by good behavior, sacraments, or reading the Bible. We merely awaken it by letting loving people rub off on us, eating the Eucharist, enjoying an entirely sacramental universe, and fully recognizing God’s image in all creatures, without exception.


What My Obedience to God Costs Other People
By Oswald Chambers

As they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon…, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus. —Luke 23:26

If we obey God, it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the pain begins. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything— it is a delight. But to those who do not love Him, our obedience does cost a great deal. If we obey God, it will mean that other people’s plans are upset. They will ridicule us as if to say, “You call this Christianity?” We could prevent the suffering, but not if we are obedient to God. We must let the cost be paid.

When our obedience begins to cost others, our human pride entrenches itself and we say, “I will never accept anything from anyone.” But we must, or disobey God. We have no right to think that the type of relationships we have with others should be any different from those the Lord Himself had (see Luke 8:1-3).

A lack of progress in our spiritual life results when we try to bear all the costs ourselves. And actually, we cannot. Because we are so involved in the universal purposes of God, others are immediately affected by our obedience to Him. Will we remain faithful in our obedience to God and be willing to suffer the humiliation of refusing to be independent? Or will we do just the opposite and say, “I will not cause other people to suffer”? We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but it will grieve our Lord. If, however, we obey God, He will care for those who have suffered the consequences of our obedience. We must simply obey and leave all the consequences with Him.

Beware of the inclination to dictate to God what consequences you would allow as a condition of your obedience to Him.


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