Institutional Christianity has hardly contemplated the possibility that the consciousness of Jesus might be the consciousness of the Christian, that the whole point of the Gospel is that everyone may experience union with God in the same way as Jesus himself.” —Alan Watts
This quote is both profound and humbling. Could it be true? Could we experience union with God in the same way of Jesus? More and more, I am convinced we can. Mystics and those who teach us about them call us to seek union with our Triune Lord. Jesus shows us the way. His life was one of humble service, contemplative prayer, and loving sacrifice for all. His words and lived experience demonstrate how to love, live and be fully alive. The great collection of saints show us ways others throughout history have followed His lead. Mystics can describe for us what we can – and do – experience. But, will we believe we can? Will we try? These are the questions we must answer for ourselves.
Far too often I am so busy – in my mind if not in my actions – that I fail to see the beauty around me. This day it is nearly impossible. I am at a beautiful lake in the Adirondack Region of New York State. The scenery is stunning! And yet, so many places – and people – are also stunningly beautiful. I mean inwardly. The beauty of God is everywhere and in everyone. No place does God not touch and heal and remain present. No place! And yet, we can just rush on by – missing it all. Today, in fact now, I pause to just marvel in it. I pray I will do so constantly through this day – and my life!
Recently, a good friend referred to me as a mystic. It stopped me in my tracks. Was I? What made him think so? And, then it dawned on me, this was want I actually wanted to be – a catholic mystic. I started this blog site to encourage catholic mysticism. I had come to agree with Karl Rahner who believed the church would only contain mystics in the future. Dogma and doctrines – and even family tradition – would no longer be enough to draw people to be practicing Catholics. It would take mysticism. So, yes, I do hope to be a catholic mystic. I hope to be seen as one with an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ and drawn to live and worship with other Catholic Christians. I wish to be a part of a movement to deeper relationships with others who are Christian – and those who are not – as we live lives of loving service to others. And in doing so, I hope to find great joy and needed strength to live a life worthy of my calling and devotion to Jesus Christ.
When we hear Jesus tell the parable of the Sower, we hear a message from Jesus that feels quite different. He calls for results in our efforts- not just actions or feelings or ideas. Real results that produce fruit for the Kingdom. This seems both odd – and spot on. Why would Jesus have come if He did not want results? He would not have. But, what results does he want? It seems to me He desires “souls”. People in relationship with Him. And, how will that be accomplished? To me, only thought us and others. We are the manifestation of the seeds sown by the Sower! Let us take root and produce a hundredfold!