GOD DRAWS US THROUGH PRAYER
The way to God that appeals today
is the way of the mystics
the way of love, not metaphysics.
Western theologians resisting Asian theology
from strong mystical currents
energizing Asia and the world –
many people turning East
In Confucian philosophy
the Way of Man is in order
when in harmony with the Way of Heaven –
and out of order when not in harmony –
but humans never achieve total harmony.
The great Protestant theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr
castigated secular and Christian liberals
for not recognizing the power
of original/cultural sin to destroy
their utopian visions of human progress.
The best we can hope for, said Niebuhr
is proximate, not total, justice.
Good and evil are mixed
in everything – even the best we do –
permeating our very being
morally and spiritually
threatening loss of our destiny.
Being self-critical is a great threat
to those who rule by might and right –
it prevents destroying their ideological enemies.
Humorlessness is the real enemy –
the inability to not take oneself seriously.
Humorlessness is projected onto God –
most humans would never torture others
but some Christians proclaim God does –
this bad news counters the good news
causing agnosticism and atheism
among highly ethical people.
To sort this confusion:
“Use your single prayer-word to beat on
the cloud of darkness above you
and consign all distractions to
the cloud of forgetting below you.”
– The Cloud of Unknowing
“Prayer is not primarily saying words – it is a stance
of living in Presence
of being aware of Presence
of delighting in Presence.”
– Richard Rohr
God does not move since God is everywhere present –
the foolish think God is distant –
humans move closer to or further from God –
God always stands at our door
no matter our faults/shortcomings/sins
hoping we will let the Universal Christ in.
“We start the spiritual life thinking
we are pulling heaven toward us –
later we realize heaven is pulling us toward it –
and the brilliant diamond of our True self
is cut into multi-facets
by God not us.”
– Dionysius the Areopagite
It is this pulling that fully converts us.
For Bernard Lonergan full conversion involves
intellectual, moral and religious conversion –
intellectual conversion goes beyond the sensory universe
and sees as the mystics see.
Faith is a mystical resurrection –
a belief in and obedience to the Author of Life
who commands us:
It is choosing life that leads us
not to utopia
but proximate justice.
Faith begins the journey
towards the full love and justice of God.