Monday, November 28, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Today’s text

From On the Contemplation of God by William of Saint Thierry (monk and abbot, 1075?--1153)

O Lord, salvation is your gift and your blessing is upon your people; what else is your salvation but receiving from you the gift of loving you or being loved by you?


It is the gift of loving that I find most freeing, dear Friend. But I cannot separate this gift from the gift of knowing your boundless love. These are one gift, not two, two experiences of the same reality.

There are moments in which I feel the world loved, totally, fully, completely--and me in and with it. Creation shines more beautiful and graced than any words can say, as I feel Your immensity embracing me and all that is.

Immediately, my soul flies open. A river of grace breaks loose in my heart, and my greatest joy is pouring that love into another life, onto another soul.

A flood of generosity fills me and flows from my smile, bursting free from a Source so deep in my soul that it is no longer my own soul, but yours. It flows in abundance from a dark and hidden place I cannot see, the place where my heart and your divine heart are one and the same.

This is salvation.

This word seldom crosses my lips, even in sermons. It’s so worn and weak it awakens no great thoughts or deep emotions in common conversation. I avoid it because it has no meaning for so many, no connection with felt experience.

But the experience of knowing great love and loving greatly, about this I cannot say enough. I crave this experience, for when I am in the midst of knowing the immensity of your love I become the Love you are. I am most human, most alive,

That is why I cling to certain stories of your ministry, Jesus. A leper kneels at your feet and says, “If you want to, you can make me whole.”

“I want to,” you say, as you reach to touch him.

And seeing this I fall in love with the Love you are. Love fills me again, freeing me every prejudgment and negative thought I have, thoughts about myself and even about those who hurt or dismiss me. Such thoughts cannot exist in the presence of Love.

The experience is fleeting, of course, but while it lasts I am free to be the person that hides so deeply within. I am free from wounds, anger and hatreds. I become your generosity, Holy One, knowing the Love you are in the Love that flows from my eyes, my face, my hands, my arms, my smile, my words.

And I know what salvation is: knowing You, knowing you as Love within my own heart and mind. It brings a sudden transformation into the image of God that I am, the image of the One who loves and always will.

This is salvation. One day I will enter its fullness. For now, I will allow whatever beauty and grace I know to awaken in me you, who are Love.

And I will look again and again into the face of Jesus, whose words and touch reveal your divine heart. He comes bearing a salvation we can feel in our flesh, a salvation that reveals who I am … and who You are.

Pr. David L. Miller

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