Tag Archives: Fire

When One plus One equals One

Human Torch1“The journey continues. Another blackboard. Another piece of chalk. And the thought that Love is not enough. My biggest hugest bestest Love will always be too small for God. The Love of God is just way too big for my little brain.” [Paulfg, “Shouldn’t discipling be beautiful?“]

Paul put his finger on a spot that “itched” my whole life long. One of those things you want to scratch, you want to satisfy, for years and years and seem like you can never quite reach.

Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” [John 17]

But HOW? How do *I*… little, finite, human, not-too-bright… *I*… ever expect or hope to KNOW GOD? Are we KIDDING? And yet, this is “eternal life”, that we know is what Jesus came to bring us. Jesus is not a liar. He is not crazy. He does not “wax poetic” or exaggerate in an excess of hyperbole and passion. He means, and meant, what He said.

So… this bothered me… a lot… for a really long time… like 50 years or so.

But then, one day, Jesus fixed this. Well, Jesus, and Our Father, and the Holy Spirit fixed this. So I thought I may as well put it down here, that perhaps others draw something from this. Also, to thank Paul for effectively expressing the “question” well enough to allow me to pose one expression of an “answer”.

28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire. [Hebrews 12]

Imagine, for just one moment, that you stood in front of God, and everything was fine, friendly, loving, relaxed… just fine. But, for some reason, He appears in the form of a vast, incredible Fire! Not just physically large, but magnificent. Now, suppose you stood before Him, in His image, your own childlike size, but you were also fire. The Holy Spirit not only blazed IN you, but THROUGH you, such that (if you can imagine this), you yourself were a “person of fire” (maybe picture Johnny Storm of the Fantastic 4, if this helps?)

And all you can see… all around you… is just the Void… and you… and Magnificent God. And He is HUGE. Beyond huge, He is infinite… and you… are NOT. You, are just, you.

Now, suppose He stretches forth His hand, His finger, towards you… and says, in His gentlest voice, “Touch Me!”

And you don’t really know what to do. This is confusing. But He is quiet, He is smiling. He encourages you, saying, “Just stretch out your finger, and touch it to My finger.”

So you do that, you stretch out your finger towards Him and His. And you can feel the warmth of Him, the love of Him, and they are overwhelming. But you feel the warmth of you, the love of you, and you know this will not be painful, but you can’t conceive of what it WILL be. Nonetheless, you stretch forth your finger, watching as they slowly come together.

And then, there is but One. One fire. Like a match flame touched to a bonfire… where does the match flame go? The two are merged into One, but where does one begin and the Other end? Where are the boundaries when two flames merge?

There are no thoughts anymore, no boundaries, no questions, no answers, no ideas, no fears. There is only… the One… as the two have become One. You in Him, Him in you, no lines, no boundaries.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Later, can you describe that? Did you “contain” that? Did you “comprehend” that? Can you even meaningfully EXPRESS that? Um… no.

And yet, there it was. It happened. And you will never be the same. And you will never again worry about “containing” the Infinite. Because you will realize, when you ENTER the infinite… “containment” no longer has any meaning at all.

Yes, you always take that Flame back with you… and you will never worry about “how will this fit?” again.

Grace to thee — Little Monk


Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Quiet Time, Sermon Seeds, Uncategorized


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A Hopkins Poem – Ah…

That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection

CLOUD-PUFFBALL, torn tufts, tossed pillows ‘ flaunt forth, then chevy on an air-
built thoroughfare: heaven-roysterers, in gay-gangs ‘ they throng; they glitter in marches.
Down roughcast, down dazzling whitewash, ‘ wherever an elm arches,
Shivelights and shadowtackle in long ‘ lashes lace, lance, and pair.
Delightfully the bright wind boisterous ‘ ropes, wrestles, beats earth bare
Of yestertempest’s creases; in pool and rut peel parches
Squandering ooze to squeezed ‘ dough, crust, dust; stanches, starches
Squadroned masks and manmarks ‘ treadmire toil there
Footfretted in it. Million-fuelèd, ‘ nature’s bonfire burns on.
But quench her bonniest, dearest ‘ to her, her clearest-selvèd spark
Man, how fast his firedint, ‘ his mark on mind, is gone!
Both are in an unfathomable, all is in an enormous dark
Drowned. O pity and indig ‘ nation! Manshape, that shone
Sheer off, disseveral, a star, ‘ death blots black out; nor mark
Is any of him at all so stark
But vastness blurs and time ‘ beats level. Enough! the Resurrection,
A heart’s-clarion! Away grief’s gasping, ‘ joyless days, dejection.
Across my foundering deck shone
A beacon, an eternal beam. ‘ Flesh fade, and mortal trash
Fall to the residuary worm; ‘ world’s wildfire, leave but ash:
In a flash, at a trumpet crash,
I am all at once what Christ is, ‘ since he was what I am, and
This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, ‘ patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,
Is immortal diamond.

Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. 1888 Dublin

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Posted by on January 14, 2013 in Uncategorized


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