Sunday, September 19, 2010

Brian’s Reflection: Monday, September 20, 2010

Regardless of the name a person uses for the Infinite Force
that holds us together, it is the source of our miraculous,
unpredictable creativity and our dignity.

Ashok Gangadean
"Towards a Culture of Peace," Elixir Magazine, Autumn 2007

I really have a difficult time in “church” these days. Not with “church” as “community” – as the Body, to use a Christian image, where we gather to support each other on the Journey. Our dear friend Connor has no problem: “church” one “does” to worship the Deity. Period. One may have a preference – as do I! - about how that is done. But, bottom line, if prayer and the Holy Eucharist are offered – a lifting up of the World, our Selves, all things, offered in Thanksgiving to “God” to be renewed and changed by that Mystery we call “Divine Grace” - then “church” is renewing of our Life. “Church”, worship, is the opening of our human lives with the Mystery we call “God”.

What I have a difficult time with is this conception of God as a “person” Who acts like a human being, making decisions about who to help, who not to help, who’s “worthy”, who’s not, who offended by sin, who didn’t, etc. It all sounds, after over 50 years at working at this, absolutely crackpot! Nutters! It can be nothing else but human projection – and very feeble projection indeed as an understanding of the glorious Mystery of “God”! I am more and more appalled by the number of American (and other) Christians who seem to believe in such a God.

What “Religion” offers us is a language – an inadequate one, but that’s to be expected – of approaching the Mystery of “the “Infinite Force” that holds us together”, as Gangadean puts it. And we must all – every Religion – recognize and admit that it is inadequate. Humility starts here. The minute we begin to think that we have any surer comprehension of the Infinite Source, we have fallen victim to Arrogance and Pride and Ignorance.

The search for God is the search for our Humanity, individually and corporately. As the mystics tell us, in speaking of the Unitive Way, there is no distinction between the two. Jesus was clear in His deepest Prayer: “May they be One as You and I are One”.

As long as we think there is a distinction between “God” and “Us”, we live in that dreaded gulf which the rich man Dives discovered. He died to find that he was separated from God and that the destitute beggarman at his gate lay in the bosom of Abraham. He could only gaze - and never the twain should meet.

There is no “separate” God Who sits outside of you or me, acting like some temperamental, spoiled, petty, feudal, Oriental monarch, to whose whim we are arbitrarily and capriciously made victim.

God is You, Me. Until we accept this at its deepest Mystery, we shall only gaze like Dives across an unbridgeable Gulf, where our true Self lies in God’s bosom and we cannot be whole.

If we have the courage to offer a radical prayer today, may it be the one Jesus – Who IS our truest Self – prayed: “May You and I be One”.


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