The name for this blog comes from the Hebrew word merchab. Merchab is a masculine noun that appears most often in the Psalms of the Hebrew Scriptures. It means a broad or roomy place, an expansive place, a wide place. Read more...

September 3, 2008

The Flow of Love

Heather and I have just returned from a week on the Olympic Penninsula in Washington State. We were there to attend the "Christophany" retreat with Cynthia Bourgeault held at the Olympic Park Institute.

The retreat was based on the book Christophany: The Fullness of Man by Raimon Panikkar. It is a dense and difficult book. But Cynthia brought considerable illumination to the text. She spoke three times a day over five days and we hads lots of meditation, some beautiful singing and time to walk in the woods. There are a number of things I take away from the week that went quite deep in my spirit.

Panikkar teaches that life is characterized by motion. Everything is in a state of flow. He calls this flow love and says that this movement of love is characteristic of the nature of the God who is known in the Christian tradition as "Trinity." The Trinity is the flow of love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each of the poles of the Trinity empties into the other, giving and receiving the eternal energy of that love which is the dynamic force of all creation.

The fundamental task of being human is to enter into this flow of love. We exist to receive and give back that love that comes to us by virtue of our creation in the image of God. We fulfill our destiny as human beings when we are able to open to the love that is God and is our true divine nature.

The challenge we experience every day is to know that this love is flowing everywhere, in everything, at all times. If the flow of love stopped, life would cease, the universe would implode. But we tend to lose sight of this love. We forget that everything flows from the ultimate Source that is God.

The Good News of the Gospel is that love does not stop; it does not come to an end, does not run out, will never let us down. Jesus demonstrated that the greatest horror, the deepest degradation, the most horrific loss, could not stop the flow of God's love. The ressurrection is the ultimate demonstration in history of the reality of love transcending all brokenness, all hopelessness, violence, or pain. Love cannot be defeated.

My problem is that I find it difficult at times to trust deeply in this love. I tend to think that I need to create my own life, to manufacture my own sense of well-being. I run around trying to fix all my broken bits and trying to deny my own weaknessess and pain, assuming these flawed parts of my being defeat the reality, strength and permanence of God's love. But, the truth of Jesus demonstrates that the broken parts of my life exist only to open me more deeply to the eternal flow of God's love and goodness.

There is nothing I need to do but open myself to the energy and power of God's love. This love will find me wherever I am. As I allow this love to flow through me, I share in God's nature and become the person I was truly created to be. When I try to hoard anything, protecting myself against those things, or people that I fear, I inhibit the unfolding of my true nature. I block the unfolding of God's work in and through my being.

There is so much fear in the world, so much insecurity, uncertainty, anxiety. We spend so much of our lives thinking that we have to get something done, accomplish something, prove ourselves, demonstrate our worth. For Panikkar this all comes from our small self, that little egoic part of our being that is driven by fear and a sense of lack and need. But the truth is, we need only to view that small frightened part of ourselves with compassion and kindness and allow the love that is at the centre of our being to hold that small one with tenderness and care.

We finished our retreat by chanting together the simple statement, "And Love says, 'I will, I will take care of you.'" This is the truth that keeps the universe operating. Love does take care of us. Even when it seems that everything is uncertain, frightening and chaotic, love is there at the centre holding all the pieces with tenderness and care. This is all any of us really wants to know. This is all that our heartsa long to experience. The only path to this knowing is the radical surrender of deep opening in our innermost being.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Christopher for your blog page--I enjoy it and feel a sense of connection with you and St Philips through it. Keep them coming--what you write is circulated to friends here. Are the Sunday sermons available for print--none on the web page since June. Would love to have those as well. Much love to all. Yvette