“When you looked at me
your eyes imprinted your grace in me;
for this you loved me ardently;
and thus my eyes deserved
to adore what they beheld in you. . . .”
Let us go forth to behold ourselves in your beauty.
—John of the Cross, “The Spiritual Canticle,” stanzas 32, 36
This was in my email this morning from the Center for Action and Contemplation. Fr. Richard Rohr goes on to share his own paraphrase of John of the Cross’ poem…
“You give a piece of yourself to the other.
You see a piece of yourself in the other (usually unconsciously).
This allows the other to do the same in return.
You do not need or demand anything back from them,
Because you know that you are both participating
In a single, Bigger Gazing and Loving—
One that fully satisfies and creates an immense Inner Aliveness.
(Simply to love is its own reward.)
You accept being accepted—for no reason and by no criteria whatsoever!
This is the key that unlocks everything in me, for others,
and toward God.
So much so that we call it “salvation”!”
I grew up in a religious tradition that often failed to share the words of the early Christian mystics. I wish that I had brought their words to life earlier in my journey with God. Yet, everything comes in its’ right time. For that I am so grateful.
When a Pharisee came to Jesus, he asked the question, “what is the most important commandment?”. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence. This is the most important on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: Love other as well as you love yourself. These two commandments are the pegs: everything in God’s law and the prophets hang from them.” (Matthew 22. 37-40 (The Message – emphasis mine).
Everything – just do these two and the rest will take care of itself…