Guidelines for Christian Life, Growth and Transformation
- The fundamental goodness of human nature ... is an essential element of Christian faith. This basic core of goodness is capable of unlimited development; indeed, of becoming transformed into Christ and deified.
- Our basic core of goodness is our True Self. The center of gravity is God. The acceptance of our basic goodness is a quantum leap in the spiritual journey.
- God and our True Self are not separate. Though we are not God, God and our True Self are the same thing.
Nothing is more beautiful than the uniqueness that God has created ... You don't have to create the beauty -you've got the beauty. You don't have to create the freedom -you've got it. You don't have to create the image of God in you -you have it. You don't have to win over God's love - you have more than you know what to do with.
~ Thomas Keating, Heartfulness: Transformation in Christ
Each of us is loved by God with a limitless, unconditioned, and unconditional love that we can never destroy or even diminish. We are loved into existence; cherished in our existence; affirmed absolutely in death and beyond. This love is independent of merit or demerits. Nothing whatsoever can separate us from this love. For it is the breadth; it is the length; it is the height and it is the depth - there is nowhere beyond it, above or below it. It is All: the limitless ocean that encompasses our tiny, threatened, fragile yet infinitely precious self.
~ Madeleine Delbrél, We, the Ordinary People of the Streets
[…] If we are afraid to know ourselves for what we are, it is because … we have not the least idea of the miracle of life-giving love that we are. There is no pretense that can approach the wonder of the truth about us, no unreality that comes anywhere near the reality.
We are 'other Christs.' Our destiny is to live the Christ-life: to bring Christ's life into the world; to increase Christ's love in the world; to give Christ's peace to the world. …
The acceptance of life as it is must teach us trust and humility. This is because every real experience of life is an experience of God. Every experience of God makes us realize our littleness, our need, our nothingness, but at the same time the miracle of Christ in us. Not only are we one of God's creatures – which is in itself a guarantee of [God's] eternal creating love – but we are also [God's] Christ … the sole object of [God's] whole love. These two facts balance the scales of trust: our nothingness and our allness.
~ Caryll Houselander, Wood of the Cradle, Wood of the Cross: The Little Way of the Infant Jesus
Questions for reflection:
- How are you being called to take a quantum leap in how you see yourself and others?
- What's in the way of accepting yourself and/or others just as they are?
- Does something need to be forgiven and released?
- What would it look like for the first consent to become a practice in your life?