Heaven Now: Weekly Summary

Heaven Now

Summary: Sunday, April 28—Friday, May 3, 2019

You’re choosing your destiny right now. Do you want to live in love and communion? Or do you want to live in constant opposition to others and life itself? (Sunday)

Union is not a place we go to later—if we are good; union is the place from which we come, the place from which we’re called to live now. (Monday)

The concrete, the specific, the physical, the here-and-now—when we can be present to it in all of its ordinariness—becomes the gateway to the Eternal. (Tuesday)

If authentic God-experience first makes you overcome the primary split between yourself and the Divine, then it should also overcome the split between yourself and the rest of creation. (Wednesday)

In fidelity to silent prayer there is unveiled the possibility of infinite growth in union with God. We can be so transformed through this unveiling that we existentially realize within us that “for me to live is Christ.” —James Finley (Thursday)

The death of our physical form is not the death of our individual personhood. Our personhood remains alive and well, “hidden with Christ in God” (to use Paul’s beautiful phrase in Colossians 3:3) and here and now we can draw strength from it (and [Christ]) to live our temporal lives with all the fullness of eternity. —Cynthia Bourgeault (Friday)

 

Practice: Praying Always
I don’t believe hell or heaven to be post-life destinations. I believe they are states of consciousness largely visible here and now. A world of objects is a kind of hell. A world of subjects—divine beings honoring the divinity in the other—is surely heaven. —Josh Radnor [1]

Prayer is not a transaction that somehow pleases God but a transformation of the consciousness of the one doing the praying. Prayer is the awakening of an inner dialogue that, from God’s side, has never ceased. This is why Paul could write of praying “always” (see 1 Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer is not changing God’s mind about us or about anything else, but allowing God to change our mind about the reality right in front of us (which we usually avoid or distort).

When we put on a different mind, heaven takes care of itself. In fact, it begins now. If we resort too exclusively to verbal, wordy prayers, we’ll remain stuck in our rational, dualistic minds and will not experience deep change at the level of consciousness. Prayer is sitting in the silence until it silences us, choosing gratitude until we are grateful, and praising God until we ourselves are an act of praise.

Jesus tells his disciples, “Be awake. Be alert. . . . You do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, at cock crow, or in the morning” (see Mark 13:33-35). Jesus is not threatening, “You’d better do it right, or I’m going to get you.” He’s talking about the forever, eternal coming of Christ now . . . and now . . . and now. God’s judgment is always redemption. Christ is always coming. God is always present. It’s we who fall asleep.

Be ready. Be present to God in the here and now, the ordinary, the interruptions. Being fully present to the soul of all things will allow you to say, “This is good. This is enough. In fact, this is all I need.” You are now situated in the One Loving Gaze that unites all things in universal attraction and appreciation. We are practicing for heaven. Why wait for heaven when you can enjoy the Divine Flow in every moment, in everyone?

References:
[1] Josh Radnor, “Saluting the Divinity in You,” “Anger,” Oneing, vol. 6, no. 1 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2018), 47, 50.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Just This (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2017), 16, 18, 37-38.

For Further Study:
Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind—A New Perspective on Christ and His Message (Shambhala: 2008)

James Finley, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere: A Search for God Through Awareness of the True Self (Ave Maria Press: 1978, 1983)

Richard Rohr, A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations (CAC Publishing: 2016)

Richard Rohr: Essential Teachings on Love, eds. Joelle Chase and Judy Traeger (Orbis Books: 2018)

Richard Rohr, Just This (CAC Publishing: 2017)

Image credit: La Sieste (detail), Paul Gauguin, 1892–1894, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: The here-and-now has the power to become the gateway and the breakthrough point to the universal. The concrete, the specific, the physical, the here-and-now—when we can be present to it in all of its ordinariness—becomes the gateway to the Eternal. —Richard Rohr
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