The notion of wonder is exciting to me as I do my Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5). My mind has become my friend, almost another person inside me prompting me to visit places I could not do physically. I use my mind every morning at 2:30 a.m. (give or take a few minutes) to wonder about my center, as well as the one subject verse of my Lectio Divina, “have in you the mind of Christ Jesus.” I have been waking up at this hour for my nightly bathroom break, so don’t think me too altruistic. Just letting my mind wander, which might be a good definition of contemplation, I wonder about extremely esoteric topics, ones, not a bit consistent with my limited intellectual abilities or interests. Who would ever think about The Mathematics of Being as a topic? That God is a number, the mathematical number one, in the kingdom of heaven has never entered my mind. If my mind was a rubber band, it would stretch all the way from Tallahassee to the Moon, it seems.
I share with you some radical and outlandish topics that I have linked with the heart of Christ. I don’t have any explanations for them, I hope that comes later. Right now, here are some questions that come from the depths of Mystery of Faith that I probe.
What is heaven like and will I fit in there? I worry about the fact that everything that I know comes to me through my five senses and filtered with emotions and the struggle to overcome the effects of original sin. I am human, not divine in nature, and can’t possibly live in a state (or whatever heaven is) without respecting the fact that I have a beginning and end to everything, that I am informed by my past, but live in a succession of moments (the now) in order for me to make choice about what is next. Everything I have used to find purpose and meaning I have had to struggle to learn. Is the physical reality of heaven such that my senses will be able to receive messages for my brain? There is no corporeal body there, I am fairly sure. My body is getting older and more fragile. How can I exist anywhere that does not have matter, time, physical energy, the properties of the elements, gravity, and so on? What will I do in heaven to keep busy? What will be my role? Will I sell popcorn at the Wednesday Night movie? Will I be able to continue to write my blog about contemplative practice? Right now, I write to keep myself busy and exclusively to put down my ideas on paper so that my daughter might have a heritage of the wonders I have encountered with Christ as my Redeemer. In a separate blog, I will share with you some of the ideas about heaven that the Holy Spirit snuck into my thought processes when I asked this question.
Moving to a deeper level, the question of what heaven will FEEL like came up. I am a human whose purpose is somehow linked to what I know, what I can experience, and what makes me happy. I know that I have reason for a reason and have figured out it has something to do with moving to the next level of evolution, that which is beyond just the physical and mental universes. I also know that Christ became human in nature to tell us what we should do to make the jump to hyper-reality, one that doesn’t make complete sense to those who don’t use the glasses Christ gives us at baptism to help clear up the Mystery of Faith so that at least our purpose is reasonable. It still takes an act of Faith (belief) to resist the corrosion of the effects of Original Sin. Why does everything have a beginning and an end? Why do I have to die? Why is there suffering? how can a good god allow Bambi to die at the hands of greedy hunters? Why do we have to struggle each day to keep our spiritual heads above water to seek God where we are and as we are? Christ tells me through Scripture and the Church’s traditions that heaven awaits, that I will experience the joy of the Master, if I, in humility and obedience to God’s will, do my best to love others as Christ loved us. Give all this, how can I feel anything that does not exist in a condition where there are a beginning and an end? God only lives in the now, an eternal tick with no tock, the boundless condition of pure being, pure love, pure knowledge, and pure service? I have no idea who God is as He is. All I can know is what I feel about God’s love with me right now, and in the past with others who are members of the Church Universal. All of this leads me to my current thinking that I should not worry about what is beyond my nature to experience. I can control today, my own now, where I continue to offer the Father praise through Christ, His Son, with the enduring energy of the Holy Spirit to overshadow me as I have the capacity to expand to receive it. Heaven will be what I am doing now that is linked with the golden thread of Christ. My contemplation skills are to be able to sew what I want to take with me to heaven. I can link the golden thread of Christ only through those things that are God’s treasures on earth, not mine. I can link the wonderful sunsets with this thread and penetrate the love that I share with others as Christ loved all of us. There is only one thread that each person receives at baptism. One of the wonderful effects of Christ becoming one of us (Philippians 2:5-12) was to show us what feeling means and how suffering, joy, happiness in the kingdom of heaven while we live is transformed into feelings that I can relate to because I have threaded my way through life, wobbly as it is, that in all things God is glorified, as St. Benedict instructs. In a subsequent blog, I will elaborate on what I have received about how I can recognize the kingdom of heaven right now, with the graces God bestows through contemplative practices. I am not waiting to go to Heaven to feel God’s presence. All I need do is sit on a park bench in the dead of winter and long to be near the one who helps me wonder as I wander, a pilgrim in a foreign land, like the Israelites who were in exile and waited to return to Jerusalem. Christ the Messiah, both divine and human natures, the New Jerusalem, lifts up all people unto Himself. I want to continue to try to be part of that as I can, whenever I can.
My wonders will never cease, I hope.