Love: Week 1
Seeing the Divine Image
Friday, January 1, 2016
You cannot earn God. You cannot prove yourself worthy of God. Knowing God’s presence is simply a matter of awareness, of enjoying the now, of deepening one’s own presence. There are moments when it happens. Then life makes sense. Once I can see the Mystery here, and trust the Mystery even in this piece of clay that I am, then I can also see it in you. I am able to see the divine image in myself, in you, and eventually in all things. Finally the seeing is one. How you see anything is how you will see everything.
Jesus pushes seeing to the social edge. Can you see the image of Christ in the least of your brothers and sisters? He uses that as his only description of the final judgment (Matthew 25). Nothing about commandments, nothing about church attendance—simply a matter of our ability to see. Can we see Christ in the “nobodies” who can’t play our game of success? In those who cannot reward us in return? When we can see the image of God where we are not accustomed to seeing the image of God, then we see with eyes not our own.
Finally, Jesus says we have to love and recognize the divine image even in our enemies. He teaches what many thought a leader could never demand of his followers: love of the enemy. Logically that makes no sense. But soulfully it makes absolute sense, because in terms of the soul, it really is all or nothing. Either we see the divine image in all created things, or we don’t see it at all. We see it once, and the circle keeps moving outward, widening its embrace.
The Christian vision is that the world is a temple. If that is true, then our enemies are sacred, too. Who else created them but God? The ability to respect the outsider is probably the litmus test of true seeing. And it doesn’t stop with human beings and enemies and the least of the brothers and sisters. It moves to frogs and pansies and weeds. Everything becomes enchanting with true sight. One God, one world, one truth, one suffering, and one love. All we can do is participate. I hope you enter the New Year with this awareness and an intention to join in with all your heart, mind, and body!
Gateway to Silence:
God’s life is living itself in me.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 2003), 55, 57-59.