Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Attraction Exercised by God is Like a Magnet

From the Magnificat, (Nov 12, 2013) this meditation from Father Maurice Zundel (1975) a Swiss theologian, a mystic, poet, philosopher, liturgist and author really struck a cord with me.  He provides an image that resonates with what spiritual direction is all about - helping people come to terms with those things in their lives that attracts as well as what repels them in their journey.

The attraction exercised by God is like a magnet, like the process of magnetization. We begin to exist, to be free, to be persons when we respond to this divine magnetization; then we begin to be saints. In the case of saints, the magnetization happens at a closer range, saints cling to the magnet more continuously. And we clearly feel that in Jesus’ humanity there is no longer any distance between it and the magnet. It no longer escapes the attraction of grace. It is projected into God with a force that is God. It is carried, lifted by the magnet.

In Jesus Christ, there is a total renouncement to any clinging of self. If you prefer, from the point of view of his humanity, Jesus is the man who has lost his self. There is no longer any self. There is no longer any possibility for him to cling to his self, to oppose his self to God, because he is completely magnetized, lost in divinity and projected into God by this magnet which is God, because in God each Person is a whole-hearted movement toward the other.

That means that the mystery of Jesus is a mystery of poverty, of infinite renouncement, and that it corresponds to a poverty found in God.

If God does not come through us, even if he is in us as he is in Christ – it is the same God who is always totally true to himself, the same God in our soul and in that of Jesus, the same God, I repeat, the same God as in the saints – if this God in us does not shine through, it is because we cling to our selves and prevent this infinite charity, this infinite poverty from shining through us.

We would be Christ himself if we were in this state of absolute, total, and unique poverty in which our Lord’s humanity is found, this humanity which is totally shorn of itself, which is no longer anything but a living relationship with God, which can no longer be a testimony to itself but is a testimony to the presence of God, of which every gesture, every word, whose total presence is the testimony of the divinity.

In this wonderful excerpt from Fr Zundel one can find an entire meditation every couple words.  The thought that I focus on here concerns our clinging to some psychological notion of a true or false self when in fact, as Christ as our model, there is no back and forth of a true self and false self - it is about total surrender. Like Saint Francis (and all the other saints) we become free persons only when we allow the mystery of poverty in God in us to shine forth from us.  In this state of being magnetized we attract others to freedom - to God being the instruments we were created in Christ to be. How awesome is that?

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