LOTUS OF THE HEART
All is Welcome Here
Living in Love beyond Beliefs
One who has been drawn into the Grace of self-abandonment, can come to say, "I do not need the promises of the Sacred, I have the Sacred, and the Sacred has me. That is enough."
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Recently, in a meeting at a church, I was teaching on Contemplative Prayer and Contemplative Living. One dear woman was hearing what clearly conflicted with her sense of living a religious life, including my affirming "God" does not owe anyone anything. She appeared to hold the popular biblical, evangelical idea that "God" made promises in the Bible and, so, God is indebted to us, based on making such promises - again, of course, if we are part of "His" group. When she spoke of the matter of how important those promises were to her, I smiled. Another person present noticed the smile meant more than "I agree" or something affirmative like that.
I replied, to give some clarification, and will summarize here. When one transcends self-interested love, one has been drawn by Grace, and is drawn ever-more deeply by that same Grace, into a Love that cares nothing consciously of the promises of "God." At a certain relinquishment of self, one no longer even has the idea of what "God" did or did not promise to enter the mind as having any importance whatsoever. This has often been called disinterested love.
Now, that is simple, but why would persons so resist a more pure, subtle expression of Grace, of Love, of Life - simply, for they have not relinquished the self to "God" that makes demands of "God," even the demand that "God" keep promises. Still, we could well admit that many of the laity in Christian churches have been well-trained by clergypersons to be motivated to serve "God" by putting "God" in a position of indebtedness. And this is legitimate, we could claim, as a beginning mode for assisting persons in commitment to right living, but little, if anything, more. Sadly, many religious persons remain here, however, but so many of us generally do, likewise, religious or not. So, see, the self-infatuated-with-itself will garb its greedy intents in any garb: religious, spiritual, patriotic, feminine, masculine, ...
Possibly, citing a more esteemed and devoutly Christian thinker, by far than I, may prove helpful...
Now the Lord [Jesus] says: "Whoever renounces anything for me and for my name's sake shall receive a hundredfold and eternal life ...". But if you give it up for the sake of the hundredfold and of eternal life, then you have renounced nothing. Indeed, if you give it up for a thousandfold return, you have renounced nothing. You must give yourself up, and must do so completely, if you are really to renounce anything. ... To contemplate what you have renounced is blindness and stupidity. But if you have abandoned yourself, then you have really renounced something. Those who have taken leave of themselves are so pure that the world cannot endure them.
This leave-taking of self is not simply a self-abandonment - that would mean only entrance into a hopeless void of nihilism. Rather, this leaving self is, at the same time, a being drawn into the fullness of Life. Therefore, this repositioning is transformative, leading to a new way of living, new priorities, new affections, ... new everything. This is what I was saying that evening, "When the self is drawn by Grace into the fullness of Grace, one does not simply transcend prior expectations, one no longer even feels any need for them." One who has been drawn into the Grace of self-abandonment, can come to say, "I do not need the promises of the Sacred, I have the Sacred, and the Sacred has me. That is enough."
We can only see through the eyes of this Fullness free of indebtedness from being drawn by the Fullness into Itself - for the self cannot free itself into the Fullness. Then, much that was important before, simply, quietly, even if over time, drops away, or is melted under the subtle rays of the Sun of Grace.
*Move cursor over pictures for photographer and title. Lotus of the Heart is given by a Hospice Chaplain, who offers this Work to encourage in a spiritual, inclusive life to embody and encourage peace among all, as each is an expression of one Grace, a single, sacred Life.