Skip to main content
Center for Action and Contemplation

Scripture as God’s Self-Disclosure

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Love: Week 2

Scripture as God’s Self-Disclosure
Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Only those who truly know their need for the Beloved know how to receive the gift of the Beloved without misusing such love. A mutually admitted emptiness is the ultimate safety net for all love, and in the Scriptures, even God is presented as somehow “needing” us, and even “jealous” for our love (Exodus 20:5, 34:14). Basically love works only inside humility. My father, St. Francis, fell in love with the “humility” of God, a word that most of us would not even think could apply to God.

Fullness in a person cannot permit love because there are no openings, no handles, no give-and-take, and no deep hunger. It is like trying to attach two inflated balloons to one another. Human vulnerability gives the soul an immense head start on its travels—maybe the only start for any true spiritual journey. Thus, the Risen Christ starts us off by revealing the human wounds of God, God’s solidarity with human suffering. God begins with self-disclosure from the divine side, which ideally leads to self-disclosure from our side.

The Bible first opened up for me in the 1960’s when the Second Vatican Council said that divine revelation was not God disclosing ideas about God but actually God disclosing “himself” [sic]. Scripture and religion itself became not mere doctrines or moralisms for me, but love-making, an actual mutual exchange of being and intimacy.

The mystics, and those like Moses (Exodus 33:12-23), Jesus (John 5:19-20), and John (1 John 1:1-3) who personally claim to know God, are always aware that they have been let in on a big and wondrous love secret. Anyone not privy to an inner dialogue, that is, some kind of I-Thou relationship, would call such people presumptuous, emotional, foolish, or even arrogant. How could they presume to claim an actual union with the divine? But this is without doubt “the mystery of God, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). As John says, “Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God . . . for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). Such an amazing, but seldom-quoted line, lets us in on the big secret and also makes it universal and available to all.

Gateway to Silence:
“There is nothing better or more necessary than love.” —St. John of the Cross

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self (Jossey-Bass: 2013), 166-168.

Pomegranates, Majorca (detail) by John Singer Sargent, 1908. Private Collection.
Navigate by Date

This year’s theme

The Prophetic Path

It can be easier to turn away from suffering than face it with an open heart. That’s why our 2023 Daily Meditations theme, The Prophetic Path, empowers us to not avoid or fear the pain of the world, but turn toward it with compassion.

The archives

Explore the Daily Meditations

Explore past meditations and annual themes by browsing the Daily Meditations archive. Explore by topic or use the search bar to find wisdom from specific teachers.

Join our email community

Sign-up to receive the Daily Meditations, featuring reflections on the wisdom and practices of the Christian contemplative tradition.

Hidden Fields

Find out about upcoming courses, registration dates, and new online courses.
Our theme this year is Nothing Stands Alone. What could happen if we embraced the idea of God as relationship—with ourselves, each other, and the world? Meditations are emailed every day of the week, including the Weekly Summary on Saturday. Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time.
In a world of fault lines and fractures, how do we expand our sense of self to include love, healing, and forgiveness—not just for ourselves or those like us, but for all? This monthly email features wisdom and stories from the emerging Christian contemplative movement. Join spiritual seekers from around the world and discover your place in the Great Story Line connecting us all in the One Great Life. Conspirare. Breathe with us.