Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Being is the embodiment of Love

Madonna with two angels
Maestro de La Leyenda de Santa Ursula
c 1480

To be within this life at exactly its own level of suffering, as it is, is a sacred responsibility. 

It's sacred simply because this life is a gift given to me through which I am meant to suffer what is, along with God. God manifests in order to gain His experience as it is; and I am to Be within that experience with Him.  

I love this duty because it is love incarnate; and love reciprocal. It is an active exchange within, which embodies Love and allows both an offering and a giving. So there's depth; and that depth is depth of Being. Being is the embodiment of Love.

I meet this duty of Being without meeting it on behalf of myself. It's true that I benefit from it to the grace of my soul; but the benefit is ultimately God's and God's alone. For my own sake I not only benefit but suffer. That suffering involves the greatest part of what I am required to endure and accept in the course of my life.

There is a distinct division between the spiritual parts of my Being and the ordinary parts which have to navigate through the external events of life. After many years of an investment in the organic sensation of Being, this distinction becomes pronounced in the parts and can be intelligently separated so that they live alongside one another, and one does not impact or influence the other. 

They shouldn’t be mixed, anyway; my consciousness ought to be poised neatly between the two and quite clearly see the difference. This can be the most interesting experience, because it truly illustrates the precise meaning of the phrase “to stand between two worlds.” For many years, I always felt that the idea was to get away from one world and into the other, that is, to somehow become “more spiritual.” This seemed like a goal. And indeed, some particularly deep and intense spiritual experiences seemed to draw me very far over to that side of the river.

Yet now, in the midst of a range of deeply troubling and distracting external circumstances—all of which have had to be allowed to play themselves out exactly as they are— the divisions become extraordinarily clear and illustrate my position in a definite way. I can study that. In this way, I see how sacred the responsibility to remain here in this position is. There is an enormous generosity in the place that the Lord assigns me. It is abundant with Grace; yet it’s only by going through the experiences—the passages—which are devoid of it that I can reach a place like this one.

Even so, I can’t dwell here perpetually. There is a lawful swing of the pendulum that will put me, inevitably, on one side or another of circumstances. 

Nonetheless, the oscillation becomes less pronounced over time, and the more I remember this quality of responsibility to life as it is, the more stable the position I occupy becomes.


Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.

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