Tag Archives: communion

I Wish I’d Said That…


[I have found all this to be utterly true. I’ve also found it almost impossible to wrap words around. I didn’t want to weaken the words by trying to restate them. So here they are, for your consideration. — LM]

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Exploring the Mystics
with James Finley

Only Love Is Real
Friday, October 13, 2017

Guest writer and CAC faculty member James Finley continues sharing insights from John of the Cross. Take a few moments in the midst of your busy day to slow down, to enter into the quiet, and to read these words from your heart center, without judgment or needing to fully understand with your logical brain.

Just as with Teresa of Ávila’s The Interior Castle, by the very first paragraph of John of the Cross’ Prologue to The Ascent of Mount Carmel you get the sense that the words are coming from some very deep place from inside of him—or really through him—that intimately accesses a deep place in us:

A deeper enlightenment and wider experience than mine is necessary to explain the dark night through which a soul journeys toward that divine light of perfect union with God that is achieved, insofar as possible in this life, through love. The darknesses and trials, spiritual and temporal, that fortunate souls ordinarily undergo on their way to the high state of perfection are so numerous and profound that human science cannot understand them adequately. Nor does experience of them equip one to explain them. [1]

One of the operative principles of love is that love does not rest as long as there is an inequality in love. In seeing the beloved down, the lover is moved to lift the beloved up. John says the infinite love of God will not rest until you are equal to God in love. Even though you would be absolutely nothing without God, God will not rest until you are as much God as God is God. God will not settle for a trace of inequality. In the “dark night of the soul,” we are weaned away from the ego’s finite ideas and feelings about God. We come to know that no idea about God is God. We are also weaned from our ideas about our self as being a finite, separate self apart from God.

Not everyone experiences this kind of union in this life. But in some lives God does not wait until death to begin the consummation through a dark night of the soul. In this nondual state, although I am not God, I am not other than God either. Although I am not you, I am not other than you either. Although I am not the earth, I am not other than the earth either. All things are unexplainably, invincibly one in endless diversity forever.

The awakening of this state on this earth does not mean you are holier than others. Rather, you awaken to how unexplainably holy everybody is. The mystic—that is, the person who is ripe with this love consciousness that’s born in the night—is not more holy but is granted a greater realization of the infinite holiness of the simplest of things.

Then, in some strange way, when you die, nothing will happen, because you’ve already died to the illusion that anything less than love is real; and you are aware that Infinite Love is loving you endlessly and giving itself away as your life.

Gateway to Silence:
Fall deeper into love.


[1] John of the Cross, The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, trans. Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez (Institute of Carmelite Studies Publications: 1991), 114-115.

Adapted from James Finley, Intimacy: The Divine Ambush, discs 1 and 6 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2013), CD, MP3 download.


Posted by on October 13, 2017 in Quiet Time, Sermon Seeds, Uncategorized


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Martian Chronicles – Who Are You?

Mars OneThe last post opened the question of leadership of this project, to establish the First Church of Mars.

As comments and discussion has ensued along this series of posts, I’ve found myself often stilled and humbled at the quality of commentators. All different traditions and denominations… heck, even different continents… and yet, so much the same. So willing to listen more than speak. To ponder more than pontificate. To seek rather than dictate.

It ought not surprise you to hear that I am seldom stunned into silence by an overwhelming wave of humility, but that’s what happened to me towards the close of last week. As I reviewed these discussions, these comments, related comments on other posts on other blogs in this little “network” that seems to have developed… I was stunned with…

An overwhelming sense of the privilege of being counted among such a company.

Don, Paul, VW, ChapLynne, Messenger, Paula, Cate, Levi… so many others… I was gobsmacked by an incredible sense of privilege. The weird thing was, there are times I’ve been overtaken by a sense of “unworthiness” to minister… I’m accustomed to that kind of humility from time to time. But this was quite different. This was to look around the table in great joy, and a sense of amazement at belonging to such a company.

But as my gaze widened beyond just THIS table, there was this tremendous sense of the joy of belonging, the sense of family, among LOTS and LOTS of brethren. A sense of oneness with everyone who simply loves God, and loves in the name of God. Didn’t matter whether “professional” minister or not… not a whit. Didn’t matter what the nature of the gift, or the calling, the vocation, the denomination, none of that. Just the oneness of the love, and the service in and of love.

It’s as if my gaze expanded to include all of Kingdom, all of humanity, all of everyone who God loves and particularly who loves back. Faces upon faces upon faces, all glowing.

And I didn’t know what I was seeing. It was wondrous, breathtaking, startling, and altogether fabulous… but what was it?

And ever so quietly, it seemed Jesus answered so simply, saying… “Saints, Little Monk. You are seeing ‘saints’. These are the people Paul so often addressed in his letters. These are the people of My true church, My true body and bride. These are My children, they populate My kingdom and love in My name.

“Enjoy the moment, Little Monk, you sit at a table populated by saints, and the feeling you sense is simply what *I* mean by… communion.”

Thought you’d like to know. I’m still gobsmacked to sit here.

*As I pour and pass the coffee and tea, and slice some more pie to go around.*


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