That is a new word for me. It means the complete intercirculation of love. As I conclude this book on centering prayer, I end up with an image that really speaks to me. Cynthia Bougeault writes:
"It's sort of like the buckets on a watermill, as they empty one into the other, the mill turns and the energy of love becomes manifest and accessible."
So, what this means for us is that as we are following Jesus in "Kenosis" self emptying, we are doing our part of making the world go around in love. I still remember that Scott Peck once said that everything is paradox except for this statement: "Love makes the world go round."
What I find in my life is a lot of situations that are up in the air and not resolved. Don't we all want to solve problems and get resolution? That is the illusion of life. Instead I see things like my grandson who seems to be having seizures for some reason, a friend who is struggling with mental illness, the reality of aging and all the changes that makes for us. And on a larger scale - another earthquake in Nepal, a terrible train accident in Philadelphia and our government which tries to deal with big problems like poverty, racism, a broken educational system. Etc, Etc. Etc. And interestingly, in the midst of these relentless questions of life, I read yesterday the Non News that fewer people go to church and identify as Christians. We in the church biz already knew that!
And maybe the problem is the dis connect between church life and the good news that is in our relationship with God. I don't know - what I struggle with personally is the realization that the church is the best place where we can learn about who God really is and what a blessing it is to have God in the center of this often confusing life that we are all living. And often church is the place where we experience perichoresis and name it as God's work - as I watch people whose love flows from one to another. It is often, unfortunately, a place where you can experience judgment and shaming with folks who have not really understood or experienced the grace of God.
And so, I think the contemplative life is pretty important for everyone. Cynthia Bourgeault writes
"The goal of the contemplative life, then, is to make "beautiful Christians": those with the insight and the inner flexibility to flow into life in any and all circumstances knowing that the fountainhead is love."
Marcus Borg suggests that the word Metanoia - often translated as "repent" or "turn around" actually means "go beyond the mind" or go into the "larger mind." And that is what I keep learning through prayer and time spent contemplatively with God's word. At the center of the universe is God, the source of all life and love. God's love flows into Jesus and into spirit and into God and into us. It is like a water mill of endless love. And gives me hope in the midst of all the stresses and questions of daily life.
However, it is our emptying ourselves that enables this to happen. And how that happens is - as is everything spiritual - about intention, grace and mystery.
Anyway, this morning I just feel grateful for my faith and for the gifts I receive through times of silence, through reading books like this, through spending time with God's word. It all prepares me to go out into my world right now - as friend, mother, wife, grandmother, disciples.