Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Union with God

While I was singing at mass on Sunday, I began thinking about how we are united with God. Some people think of that union as a drop of water falling into an ocean. That image would seem to indicate an obliteration of the individual soul in God. I suppose there are aspects where we are no longer separated from God by our own will and ego. However, I was wondering if perhaps this union is not more like the singing of the congregation. In fact, perhaps Gregorian chant is a good metaphor (and we can only grasp with metaphors, with analogies and the like). Everyone singing in unison, the same melody, different voices and timbres. No one voice stands out, but they all create a beautiful, living, vibrant whole. I think of the new wording of the Nicene Creed which we will recite at mass beginning this Advent where we will speak of Jesus being "consubstantial with the Father." That is, the Son and the Father share one substance, yet they are separate persons. So even in the Trinity, the individual is not obliterated in the divine union.

I don't speak of these things from experience. I've been reading St. Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, and it is clear to me how far I am from what she is talking about. However, God gives us reason, and he gives us desire, and these can inch us along to greater understanding and deeper experience.

No comments: