Thursday, October 17, 2013
Your own best effort
My wife and I have spent the last two days traipsing through innumerable small churches throughout the city, seeking out the intimate moments Christian artists have created over the last two millenia. Traveling as much as I do in Asia I am perhaps over-Buddha'd; it comes as something of a relief to be immersed in Christian imagery for a change.
The intimate moment is the one that counts; and perhaps nothing could possibly be so intimate as the touch of God's hand. Bernini certainly managed to capture the essence of such moments; one knows not how.
Standing in front of the seventh-century mosaics in the Baptistry of San Giovanni (Chapel of Santa Rufina), I was touched this morning by the immediate proximity of Christ; it's in these moments when one comes into contact with the true Presence of the Miraculous that one sees, for a moment, how utterly fractured one's life is and how one, by Grace alone, can come to a greater sense of Being.
This is all that matters; to be reduced, to be taken, to receive.
I had similar moments yesterday while looking at Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Theresa; at the railing in front of the chapel, one can read what she wrote of her experience when God's angel touched her.
That such things are true, I can personally attest; and I feel a kinship with her. We are part of the same work—given through God's Grace alone and never for ourselves—an order of being put in service. These moments reach into the heart of sorrow; but it is the sweetest sorrow that any soul can wish for, a sorrow that thanks the Lord, rather than feeling poorly for its owner.
I've often asked myself why I continue to write this blog, after six years (nearly seven, now.) It's a lot of work; and I weary from time to time.
Throughout, through all the material I've presented... whether intimate, personal, scholarly, or speculative... there has only ever been one hope from this enterprise, this personal diary of inner work, and that is that you who encounter it may be inspired in your own work.
Not be inspired to do what I do or believe what I say; but to be inspired to reach inside yourself and hear the faint but immeasurably blissful and true call from God, that spark of the inner light that on rare occasions touches the soul and sets it aflame with a passion for Inner Truth. To open to the Divine inflow, the influence, the inward flow.
This, after all, is all one works for: to help others deepen their own work, which only and forever belongs to them, and to God.
So here's to your own best effort, readers, whoever you are and whoever you may be! These things of God's are True things, not metaphor or myth, but living Truths that can and will be born in man and woman. Never doubt it.
And on this matter, more in the next post.
May your soul be filled with Light.