Wednesday, 5 February 2014

89: What is holiness?

Two days ago I was giving the Lesson on the Transfiguration of the Lord: "The Transfiguration in our Spiritual Life".
I was explaining some aspects of the Transfiguration: the state of Jesus' human nature (from day one, his human nature (body, soul, spirit) was united to His Divinity, in the only Divine Person of the Eternal Son). I was pointing out to the fact that our human nature doesn't help us understand his human nature because we are "below human nature" in the sense that our human nature is a fallen nature, that we are capable of being wolves, of "eating" our brothers and sisters. While, Jesus' human nature is more humane, more human! His nature (body, soul, spirit) is not fallen but is introduced/dwelling in the Divine Nature of the Eternal Son. His Human Nature is at the closest to the Divine Uncreated Nature of God.
We often fall into the trap of projecting our understanding and perception of who we are on Jesus. So when we say: "Jesus is perfect man", under "man" we may put things that have nothing to do with Him and His Human nature.

From that point, I moved on to a very close point, saying: what is our horizon? what is holiness? what is the final stage of our growth as christians, disciples of Jesus? how does it look like? how would be look like? Is it to walk with a halo or any circle of light on top of our head? is it to make miracles? is it to walk on waters?
None of the above. Our goal is to become more human, to become like Jesus: More humility, more compassion, empathy, welcoming in our heart (spiritual hospitality) all humans, unconditionally. Forgiving 7x77 times per day (see Mathew 18:21).
The good Samaritan
How much do we have to forgive? How should be the state of our heart? Grab your calculator: 7x77 = 539 time a day. If you sleep 8 hours, that leaves you 16 hours to forgive others. 539 times per 16 hours, makes it more than 33 times per hour. More than once every two minutes. This is Jesus' way to explain God's Heart, God's uncreated Being.. and how we need to become: "be merciful as your Father is merciful" (Luke 6:36), have the same way of being merciful: be as perfect in mercy as your Father (see Mt 5:48).

St Thomas Aquinas said that kneeling humbly in front of God is greater than making miracles. St John of the Cross makes us notice that in saint Paul's list of the qualities of the Apostle, he put Patience before miracles.

Jesus himself, when he tries to unveil to us the very nature of God's Heart, he takes the example of our goodness/kindness and multiplies it. "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him." (Mt 7:11) All what I am trying to say lies in this "how much more".

We remember very well Jesus' core statement: "learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart" (Mt 11:29)! What do we need to learn more from God? We need to know His Nature and His behaviour. We need to discover the way He thinks, the way he acts. And strangely, He appears to be more human than us. "Let us fall into the Hand of God, for he is most merciful" (2 Sam 24)!

This is how He reveals himself in a vision: "YHWH, YHWH, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,  keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin" (Exodus 34:6-7).

A Devouring Flame of Love. (see Dt 4:24)

God is truly more human/humane than us.

So, conclusion, how do I imagine holiness? what is my horizon? What is to be holy? What is to get closer to God? what will happen?

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