Christ’s fiery touch at Pentecost
brought our souls and the Church alive.
Christ’s touch separates us from others
and yet binds us to them
so that at the same time each Christian
is a hermit and the whole Church.
The challenge for us is to be one and many
as symbolized in the three-in-one Trinity:
Father/Son/Holy Spirit are all distinct yet one –
so we must be united to all and yet our self.
Nature can help us imagine this –
since it is a ‘process’ – a flowing whole movement
of interconnected organisms
not a series of independent mechanisms.
In Zen, spirit and matter are one not separate
and so it flumoxed Francis Xavier
that Zen Master Minsitshu
was not convinced he had a ‘soul’
as an object one can ‘have’ and ‘save.’
Xavier’s goal was to save Minsitshu
but we should have goals only for our self
not expectations for others, since this means
asking them to live up to our own self-centered ideals.
Being one yet many and having no goals/expectations
for others – loving them as they are
not as we want them to be – challenges us in relationships
particularly marriage, the most intimate of all relationships –
where we are called to be one with our partner yet our self.
Being one yet many also challenges us spiritually:
to be one with God yet not God –
wisdom has two basic tenets:
there is a God and
you are not God.
“Spiritual challenges can be overcome
by more prayer/meditation/self-examination/
penance/patience in desolation/
and humility in consolation.”
– Ignatius of Loyola