Paul: Week 1
We Are Two-Way Mirrors
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
There is only one thing you must definitely answer for yourself: “Who am I?” Or, restated, “Where do I abide?” If you can get that right, the rest largely takes care of itself. Paul answers the questions directly: “You are hidden with Christ in God, and God is your life” (Colossians 3:3-4). Every time you start hating yourself, ask, “Who am I?” The answer will come, “I am hidden with Christ in God” in every part of my life. I am bearing both the mystery of suffering humanity and God’s glory. Maybe right now I must bear the suffering part to be in solidarity with both humanity and “Christ,” which is just another word for everything (see 1 Corinthians 3:21-23, 15:20-28, or Colossians 1:15-20).
God keeps looking at what is good in the human person. What is entirely good in me is called God and, of course, God finds this always and entirely lovable. God fixes God’s gaze intently where I refuse to look, on my shared, divine nature as God’s daughter or son (1 John 3:2). God looks at me and sees Christ. And one day my gaze matches God’s gaze. This is what we mean by prayer. At those times I will find God entirely lovable and myself fully lovable at the same time. Why? Because it is the same set of eyes that is doing the looking (2 Corinthians 3:18), and we henceforth look out at life together and agree on what we see.
“The eye with which I see God is the same one with which God sees me. My eye and God’s eye is one eye, and one sight, and one knowledge, and one love,” said the non-dual teacher Meister Eckhart (c. 1260 – c. 1328).  No wonder they called him “Master”! All you have to do is receive the gaze and then return what you have received. It is an entire agenda for your whole life. All you really do is complete the circuit, “love returning love” as my father, Saint Francis, put it. We are two-way mirrors.
We are saved by standing consciously and confidently inside the force field that is Christ, not by getting it right in our private selves. This is too big a truth for the small self to even imagine. We’re too tiny, too insecure, too ready to beat ourselves up. We do not need to be correct, but we can always try to remain connected to our Source. The great and, for some, disappointing surprise is that many people who are not correct are the most connected.
All we can do is fall into the Eternal Mercy—into Love—which we can never actually fall out of because “we belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God” (1 Corinthians 3:23) as Paul so beautifully stated. Eventually, we know that we are all saved by mercy in spite of ourselves. The supreme irony is that we are saved much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right! That must be the final humiliation to the ego.
Our holiness is first of all and really only God’s holiness, and that is why it’s certain and secure. It is a participation in love, a mutual indwelling, not an achievement or performance on our part. “If anyone wants to boast, let him boast in the Lord,” Paul shouts at the end of his long argument (1 Corinthians 1:31). Jeremiah said the same long before Paul (Jeremiah 9:22-23).
Gateway to Silence:
My life is not about me. I am about Life.
 Johannes Eckhart, Meister Eckhart’s Sermons, Sermon IV, “True Hearing,” http://www.ccel.org/ccel/eckhart/sermons.vii.html, 32-33.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality (Franciscan Media: 2008), 50-51;
and Great Themes of Paul: Life as Participation (Franciscan Media: 2002), disc 5 (CD).