Brian’s Reflection: Monday, December 6, 2010
God is always coming to you in the Sacrament
of the Present Moment. Meet and receive Him
there with gratitude in that sacrament.
Evelyn Underhill, “mystic”, philosopher; she was
born on this date, in England, 1875.
I seem to be on a “jag” about the Now these days. I guess because it’s Advent, with all of its sense of the conflation of Time and Being.
But I have to come clean. I was “brought up” with thinking about Heaven, and what you had to do to get there, and what you had to “do” to convince God to let you in. I’ve been thinking all that stuff these days ….. and I realize that I have never been really interested in “Heaven”. Not since I was 21, and joined the Order of the Holy Cross, and began to read and think. Just like I was give the gift of knowing that being Gay was without any moral condemnation, the gift of naturally being able to live in the Present – and enjoy it – has saved me enormous angst!
Now, I look at this unconcern with “Heaven” as a Gift. Yep, a gift. A gift that the Mystery of God “gave me”. As soon as I began to think about it, I realized that anything one did to win God’s “favor” and attain the Afterlife – like being “good” – was at best manipulation and at worst complete deceit and self-delusion. And every knows – or should know – that God cannot be fooled.
It seems to me that worrying about God in the past or future tense is Avoidance of the mystery of God. I think about the Sacraments – all of them ….. and to the Orthodox Church the number of Sacraments is limitless, God bless them! Unlike the Roman tendency to limited tidiness. I mush prefer the Orthodox vision of Reality. The Earth is “filled with the glory of God / as the waters cover the sea”.
The Sacrament of the Present, of the Now, is indeed perhaps the “perfect” Sacrament. But all Sacraments surely are the same - some simple sensual tangible “thing/s” just waiting to explode with the revelation of greater Majesty? Simple bread and wine at the Eucharist/Communion/Lord’s Supper becoming cellular with out cells and nourishing us with the life of that Mystery of Life we often call God. Bemusing and mind-blowing at the same time.
To the extent that we engage with the Now, with what is happening to us right at this moment, the greater our connection with the vast Mystery that is Life. Life is “What Is” ….. and God is reported once said to Moses, “I AM”!
We human beings like to think that we know how and when God “comes to us”. And by Jove we have made up a barrelful of rules about how that can and can’t happen. You have to believe this, belong to that religion, etc. It’s all Delusion. The great Jesuit spiritual director de Foucauld once said, “God speaks to us in everything that happens to us” ….. and he was right on the money!
We humans exist in the context we call “God”. It is inescapable. It’s a given. All is Stardust, and we have been part of it since the beginning ….. if there was only one.
Partake of the Sacrament of the Present Moment.