Tuesday, December 23, 2014
An inner presence
God is a living Presence that comes to us. We do not bring it. He does not come according to our whims or demands.
This Presence arrives under its own authority, when it wills it so.
I don't remember this; and I am always caught in my assumptions and associations, which fail to take this into account.
Most of what one reads about religion and God is deeply confused because it does not understand this question of the inner Presence, which I call the divine inflow. There is no truth greater than this Presence, which is truth itself, and puts everything else in proper order. In the moment of this Presence, I do not make any sense at all; but the world does.
Christ, whose birth we celebrate this week, asked us to come to this Presence in humility and receive it. It has since, inevitably, been turned into an outward thing which we use force to express, force to describe, force to thrust on others. Almost never do any of us turn inward, gently, and with the intimacy that is necessary.
Yet in that movement, it might be possible to understand who Mary is, who the Christ child is, and how He may be born in us at any moment to receive the Lord.
It is very, very important to carefully—and always—study what it means to be inward and to have an inner Presence, not an outer one. This is an active and a living thing, born of a certain kind of organic attention that does not just come from the mind.
When I am confused about the difference between the outer world and my inner Being, I can't see anything, and nothing is possible for me in terms of my soul, no matter how much the outward parts of me acquire.
I need to remind myself every day that the first task I have in front of me is to feed my Being, not the beast who craves. It's a question of what I wish to put first in front of myself: the world, or God.
I hope, today, I can remember this. I already know that that will only be possible with Grace; which oft seems distant.
Yet Grace is much more available than I give it credit for.