Consciously, trustfully, lovingly remaining on “the Vine” (John 15:1), which is to be connected to our Source, is precisely our access point to deeper spiritual wisdom. We know by participation with and in God, which creates our very real co-identity with Christ: We are also both human and divine, as he came to reveal and model. The foundational meaning of divine transformation is to surrender to this new identity and to consciously draw upon it every day.
This realization that Someone is living in us and through us is exactly how we plug into a much larger mind and heart beyond our own. Afterward, we know in a different way, although we have to keep relearning this truth over and over again (which is probably the point of daily prayer). This demands a major surrendering of our small self, our little ego boundaries. This “foundational holiness” or ontological union with God is actually our first nature. In fact, God has always—and only—been in union with our obviously imperfect humanity. That is the essential and eternal character of divine mercy and the perfect love of God.
Living and thinking autonomously, separately, or cut off from such a Vine or Source is what Paul means by being “foolish” or “unspiritual”; whereas surrendering to our identity in God is the beginning of all wisdom and an unending power Source. Surrender to Another, participation with Another, and divine union are finally the same thing. Once we rest in this union, we look out at the world from a much fuller Reality with eyes beyond and bigger than our own. This is precisely what it means to “live in Christ” (en Cristo) and to pray “through Christ our Lord. Amen!”
Adapted from Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi, pp. 68-71 (Richard Rohr)
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