Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. — James 1:27
Whenever the human and the divine coexist at the same time in the same person we have Christianity. I don’t know that it finally matters what Scriptures you read, liturgies you attend, or moral positions you hold about this or that—as much as “Do you live trustfully inside of God’s one world?”(Richard Rhor) This creates honest people, people who don’t waste time proving they’re right, superior, or saved, but just try to live and love the daily mystery that they are in the loving presence of God. “God comes to you disguised as your life,” as Paula D’Arcy loves to say. Imagine that!
There are basically four world views: (Fr. Richard Rhor)
1) Reality is just matter
2) Reality is just spirit
3) Through religion and morality we can work to put matter and spirit together
4) The material world has always been the place where Spirit is revealed.
You cannot put them together. They already are—as in Jesus. Only the fourth position, “incarnationalism,” deserves to be called authentic Christianity. It has to do with the right reality, not the right rituals.
Franciscan Friar and contemplative Richard Rhor asserts the following: “Divine union, not private perfection, is the goal of all religion.” In that very short statement we can find the heart of our faith walk. Our world is busy chasing many goals and movements to find the perfect way to “do church,” and it stares us in the face. Religion is union with the divine. That union is not found in a series of rules that seek to bring us to a state of personal perfection but in quiet steps that bring us closer to God.
This union with the Divine has to start with prayer that carries us away from the ordinary and allows us to reach for the Divine. Perhaps the best start would be a time of silence when we offer ourselves to God, and remain still long enough for Him to respond.
Union with the Divine is found in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. In this Holy Mystery, the Divine comes to us. Countless hours are spent looking for God, and without a doubt, He is present in the sacrament. Do not neglect the concept of frequent communion that is so forcefully expressed by Methodist founder John Wesley for in the practice of this Holy Mystery we find Divine union.
Jesus cries to us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. “ Let us make coming to union with the Divine the driving force of our lives.
- The Eucharist (ubiquelucet.wordpress.com)