Saturday, April 02, 2011

Indwelling - Vortex of Love - There is Something Greater Here

Thank you Athos for THIS POST!

Father Cantalamessa showers us with so many wonderful points of light in this homily.  I care to draw out a couple with the following ramblings...

Link here and please go to the complete version of Father Cantalamessa's 2nd Lenten Homily – very powerful and very deep (though we know that people do not want to venture any deeper than where they are at…) but I wanted to bring out a point on baptism that has always stayed with me and yet I have had trouble putting words to it.
"But what is this love which has been poured into our hearts in Baptism? Is it a feeling of God for us? A benevolent disposition of His towards us? An inclination? Something, that is, intentional? It is much more than that; it is something real. It is, literally, the love of God, namely the love that circulates in the Trinity between the Father and the Son and that in the Incarnation assumed a human form and in which we now participate in the form of "indwelling." "My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him" (John 14:23).

We become "participants in the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4), that is, participants of divine love. We find ourselves by grace, explains Saint John of the Cross, in the vortex of love that has always taken place in the Trinity between the Father and the Son, [9] better still: in the vortex of love taking place now, between the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, risen from death, of whom we are the members."
I felt all of this being baptized as an adult – being in a state of rapture - "in the vortex of love taking place now, ...” This is why, for me, baptism is as much about the role, responsibility and reverence of the church partnering with the parents and godparents as it is for the child – almost in a sense, baptism is not about the child at all – and this is why I cringe a bit with certain emphasis when wanting infants baptized. (I am not opposed to infant baptism – I just feel that we want to make sure to continue to flame the fire of His Love in the hearts of the body of Christ who are presenting the infant and not put it out with the waters of baptism.) I would venture to say that not one single infant when grown can say that they, at baptism, experienced any of this love. We so often reflect a worry over hell (from a negative sense) that we individually and collectively demonstrate what Father Cantalamessa says in this meditation, that most of us can’t or haven’t gotten our hearts (let alone our minds) around God’s love for us and the ramifications that this love (passive - by way of receiving - not reaching) for ourselves and all of humankind. And it is only in receiving this love that we can even approach the great commandments;

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.

The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 30-31).

Obviously there are movements like Cursillo (as well as AA) that have helped people with the sense of God’s love for them, however in the broad scope very few people have had that experience (or been able to give witness to their experience) and that is what Father Cantalamessa is referring to in this homily.

I also wanted to share this notion of "indwelling" as it is not about an indwelling that comes from within us but rather an indwelling in Christ. As we reside in Christ we have Christ indwelling in us. So there is a vast chasm between the secular psychological understanding of this and the reality as we know it to be from a biblical knowledge.

This bears out in this homily as well when Father Cantalamessa quotes Duns Scotus referring to the Incarnation. This indwelling comes from outside to embrace and reside in among us from the beginning.

So we must accept that our sciences such as psychology are but a “pharmakos” – they are often cures but at the same time they are often poisons.

I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live (Deuteronomy 30:19).

Reflecting on all things, just as we never forget to breathe, we should remember: Lk 11:29-32:
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
There is something greater here as Father Cantalamessa draws it out for us in his meditation on God’s love for us.

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