Creating space

“I have come so that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10

fill-your-bowl-to-overflowing1-e1543330678788.jpg

When I was young, my father, adapting an image from St. Therese, explained to me how there could be “levels” in heaven, with certain saints reaching higher degrees of happiness, while at the same time everyone being perfectly happy. My Dad told me to imagine a large glass and a small one, both filled to the brim with water.

“Which one is more full?” He inquired.

“Neither one,” I replied. “They are both completely full.”

“That’s right. But which one has more water in it?” He pressed.

“The bigger one.” I said.

“And that’s how it is in heaven. Everyone is full, but some have more of God in them because they have made more room for him, and so they experience a greater joy.”

And then he gave me this charge: “David – you always want to have a bigger glass!” Continue reading

Standard

On Deserving

“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.”  – Luke 15:21, NJB

Hand and Flowers

Deserve. This word automatically evokes a sense of justice. You get what you deserve: what is your right, what is coming to you. “Father, let me have the share of the estate that will come to me” (Luke 15:12).  You get what you have earned, what you have worked for. There are merits and demerits. “All these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed any orders of yours” (Luke 15:29).

Deserving is different when viewed through the paradigm of justice than it is through the paradigm of gift. Deserving in the paradigm of justice is dependent on what you have done, or the status you have attained. Deserving in the paradigm of gift is dependent on how the “giver” regards you, on the status he or she bestows. Perhaps, both sons in the parable suffer from the same misunderstanding. Both claim justice (later on, the younger son even believed he deserved a demotion for his sins), when for the father all is gift. Continue reading

Standard

Consuming fire

“Our God is a consuming fire.” – Hebrews 12:29

campfire

Love, Pure Love

is a Consuming Fire.

Fire consumes all that is not fire.

It devours completely,

assimilating every worthy element

and transforming it into itself.

Nothing of what was remains.

What remains is nothingness.

A transubstantiation.

Thus is Love,

consuming all that is not Love,

annihilating all lesser loves.

Some vanish as droplets before they are touched.

Some burn slowly and suffer violence,

their torture observed as through bars

until they too are digested, destroyed.

Only Love is inexorable.

Only Love endures.

The Unquenchable Fire that quenches all

and is All.

Standard