Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Nondiscursive Knowing of the Love of God (Contentment)

My increasing experience is of an overwhelming, nonprogrammatic ethos of contentment that is nonassociated with material things or personal accomplishments. The core of this experience is love; essentially, a nondiscursive knowing of the love of God. This happened to me this morning, and continues as I'm now writing.

Birdhouse in the park across from our house.
The soil of this contentment is active engagement with God; e.g., today for me this was mediated through Colossians 1:27 - the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Reading this, I was taken back to the early 1970s. I was a new Jesus-follower living on Rockford, Illinois. I was part of a regular weekend gathering of passionate J-followers. Everyone there was young. Except for one old man. His name was Peter Potter. We would sit in a circle and hear Peter talk of his Jesus-faith. Peter would repeat, often, Col. 1:27, saying... "Christ in me, the hope of glory." As I hear these words today I am reminded of this, and experience a satisfaction I never find in stuff and accomplishments.

Such inner peace and contentment, such non-freaking-outishness, is the normal Jesus-life as we are connected to him. I like how Thomas Merton expresses this. Merton writes:

"From moment to moment, I remember with surprise that I am satisfied, even though everything is not yet fulfilled. I lack nothing. Omnino replete me—He satisfies me in all things. Sapientia—wisdom = sapor boni—savoring the good (St. Bernard [of Clairvaux]). To know and taste the secret good that is present but is not known to those who, because they are restless and because they are discontent and because they complain, cannot apprehend it. The present good—reality—God. Gustate et videte—Taste and see." (Merton, Thomas, A Year with Thomas Merton, Kindle Locations 4237-4241)