Thursday, September 27, 2012

Swimming in mercy...


…When we think of mercy, we should be thinking first and foremost of a bond, an infallible link of love that holds the created and uncreated realms together. The mercy of God does not come and go, granted to some and refused to others. Why? Because it is unconditional - always there, underlying everything. It is literally the force that holds everything in existence, the gravitational field in which we live and move and have our being. Just like [the] little fish swimnming desperately in search of water, we, too - in the words of Psalm 103 - "swim in mercy as in an endless sea." Mercy is God's innermost being turned outward to sustain the visible and created world in unbreakable love.
Cynthia Bourgeault, Mystical Hope

"God's innermost being turned outward..."?

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being... And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth." (John 1.1,2,14)

The mercy of God, in which we swim as in an endless sea, is Christ himself, who says, "Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them." and, "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." (John 6.56; 17.20,21)

We are not beyond mercy, outside mercy, or bereft of it; nor can we be. When we cry out to Christ for his mercy, we are crying out as those who seek to realise what they already have, like the man who cried out "I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9.24)

6 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful post. It had seemed that way to me, that when in a period of aridity the whispered prayer "Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy" is a heart-felt petition. But when the struggle passes it is simply an affirmation, as are all prayers: a celebration of that which already always is.

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  2. Yes! Exactly that! And it is within that "that which already is" that "pray[er] without ceasing" becomes possible, isn't it? Since we are already immersed in the bright fluid of mercy, our lives are already whole - broken as they are, somehow.

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  3. My most loved title for God is Ocean of Mercy. We float upon that boundless sea, supporting us and carrying us home.

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  4. "And it is within that "that which already is" that "pray[er] without ceasing" becomes possible, isn't it? Since we are already immersed in the bright fluid of mercy, our lives are already whole - broken as they are, somehow." -MF

    Yes - does this ever cease to bring awe? Only from this perspective did worship finally make sense to me, and likewise the phrase "I am not worthy."

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  5. 'does this ever cease to bring awe? Only from this perspective did worship finally make sense to me, and likewise the phrase "I am not worthy."'

    Yes!

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  6. Barbara - being carried home - beautiful! And so we are...

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