“From the natural point of view we come to know God from the vestiges of Himself that He has left in the splendors of the visible universe: the blazing red sunset, the snow-covered mountain peaks, the graceful flight of a bird, the breathtakingly magnificent complexity of a single living cell. On a still more exalted level we know Him in the loveliness of the saints – but it remains a knowledge of the infinite through the finite.”
— Fr. Thomas Dubay, p.188-89 Fire Within
“But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him’— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
What should a person expect when they chose to attempt to follow the contemplative path? Are there step by step instructions that can be followed that will guarantee an mystical encounter with the living God? Will there be dream like visions and experiences of the Spirit that bring joy beyond anything we have ever felt or desired? Can a person even be really confident that they will continue to experience such a state?
To be very honest, a person might follow the contemplative path and never, ever have these things happen to them, except for the testing of their confidence. You could spend a hours a day seeking the presence of the living God as we imagine God to be and never come to know the almost continual presence that is always there. This is the Mystery in which a contemplative gladly places their faith.
I wish I could remember where I copied the follow quote from for it calls us to a deeper understanding of the relationship God offers to us: “I saw God yesterday in a tulip. I felt God in the roots of a tree. I saw God in two children and one wonderful mother will walk the the sweet saint who mothered her. I saw God in a reflection on the past, a drive down memory lane. Yes, God was everywhere yet, I did not find God. It is always God who finds me.”
But what happens if we do not accept the relationship God offers or pervert it by taking it for granted or engaging in infidelity by joining ourselves to that which is not the relationship God desires? This will be the subject of my next blog.