DON’T REMAIN OUTSIDE
There are those who live religion «from the outside». They pronounce prayers, go to religious celebrations, hear talk about God, but they limit themselves to being «spectators». As the French thinker Marcel Legaut says, they live everything from an «extrinsic representation» of God. They don’t «enter» into the adventure of encountering God. They always remain at a certain distance.
However, God is in what is most intimate of each human being. God isn’t something separate from our life. God isn’t a fabrication of our mind, a representation half intellectual or half affective, a game of our imagination that lets us live «illusioned». God is a real presence that is in the very root of our being.
This presence isn’t evident. It isn’t grasped the way we grasp other more superficial things. It’s perceived in the measure that one perceives oneself in our depth. Its mystery is as unattainable as is the mystery of each human being. God makes Self present when I make myself present to myself truly and sincerely. It’s not possible to enter into the experience of God if one lives permanently outside of oneself.
Without this inner openness to God there’s no living faith. We begin to hear God’s voice when we listen to our truth from our depths. It takes form in our existence in the measure that we welcome it. God’s presence goes about being configured in each one of us by adapting itself to what we allow it to be.
What’s human and what’s divine aren’t realities that mutually exclude each other. We don’t have to stop being human in order to be of God. What’s human is «the door» that allows us to «enter» into the divine. Actually the most intense experiences of communication, of human love, of purifying pain, of beauty or of truth are the channels that best open us to the experience of God.
It isn’t strange that the Gospel of John presents Christ, God become flesh, as the «door» through which the believer can enter and walk toward God. In Christ we can learn to live a life so human, so true, so from the depth, that in spite of our mistakes and mediocrity, it can lead us toward God. But we must listen well to the warning of the Gospel writer. God’s Word «came to the world» and the world «didn’t know him»; «he came to his own house», and «his own didn’t receive him».
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf