Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Make me one with everything...

I am sure you have all heard the old joke about the Buddhist who talks to the hotdog vendor and says “Make me one with everything.” Buddhists talk about being “one with the Eternal Buddha.” Christians talk about being “one with God.” St. Paul wrote this, one of my favorite passages…

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 NIV

The Good News version of this quote may shed a bit more light on the subject:

“so that it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. This life that I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me. “

But what does it mean to be one with God (by whatever name you call God)? Does it mean giving up who we are? Does it mean giving up our desires or following the path God sets for our lives? What does it mean and how do we accomplish it?

Some may have heard of St. Teresa of Avila and her work “The Interior Castle” of which I have spoke before. In this book she speaks of a spiritual union with God. She speaks of it in terms of being accomplished through prayer, meditation, and mostly through the grace of God.

Here, then, are some quotes to think about that discuss this subject:

“The drama of contemporary culture is the lack of interiority, the absence of contemplation. Without interiority culture has no content; it is like a body that has not yet found it’s soul. What can humanity do without interiority? Unfortunately7, we know the answer very well. When the contemplative spirit is missing, life is not protected and all that is human is denigrated. Without interiority, modern man p0uts his own integrity at risk.” – Pope John Paul II (Madrid, May 3, 2003)

“On Mount Horeb when God spoke to Elijah, God ‘was not in the wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but in the still, small voice, like the whisper of a gentle breeze.’ (1 Kings 19:11-13)’” –James McCaffrey, Fire of Love

“Meditation – thinking deeply within, about a Bible Passage, a scene of Jesus or Mary or a saint, or even about a doctrine (Heaven, grace) of our faith, and then, thanking God for the graces received in the meditation, and thereby forming affections and sentiments (spiritual glues) to Him…the contemplative life, will help us spiritually…St. Paul says, “But all of us, with faces unveiled, reflecting as ina mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His very image, from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18) St. Paul implies that the life of interiority, prayer , conscious and deeper union with God will change us into God’s image and likeness more: precisely because it is God who is changing us. Therefore we will want to pray more, to meditate on His goodness and inner life…” – Why Prayer, Meditation and Contemplation?

“ Approach God with the humility of a small child yearning for her mother – approach Him with the pure heart of a child.” – Therese

“What joy to remember that our Lord is just; that He makes allowances for all short comings, and knows full well how weak we are. What have I to fear then? Surely the God of infinite justice who pardons the prodigal sone with such mercy will be just with me, who am always with him?” – Therese

“Their agitation and all their requests have so tired out the Good Master that He is only too glad to enjoy the rest I offer Him.” – Therese

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