Awareness of God
Welcome to Sabbath Moments, hosted from Thoughts on Grace. Join us if you will. A few thoughts on living in the truth. I need to live in reality. I refuse to play games, wear masks and costumes to fit into a false persona which I have crafted in my own mind. T
The worst possible fate for me would be to die and discover that I had lived an existence similar to the allegory described in Plato’s Cave. Plato describes man’s condition similar to living in a cave, chained, only seeing shadows on a wall cast from a candle. Yet the human race believes that this is all there is to life. When one person manages to break free and stumbles out into daylight, he realizes that what he thought was real were actually shadows of real objects. After this messenger makes his way back into the cave to explain this revelation of the real world, no one believes him. No one else has any reference point; they simply cannot grasp this alternate reality.
When I speak with someone who is curious about the faith, I realize my revelations about the spiritual life in the Mystical Body of Christ are completely foreign. I might as well be a fantasy character explaining life in an alternate reality. Psychologically speaking, people need to hear a completely new concept at least three times before it even begins to register in their minds. Sharing about spiritual reality is like helping God make new neurological connections and this transformation takes time. Seekers who has existed on the surface, experiencing only physical reality is wearing God-filtered glasses; the life in Christ that I share with someone is completely alien. They have no reference point.
That said, slowly sharing my conversion story, epiphanies and inexplicable miracles in my life tickles people’s curiosity and opens their spirit to the Holy Spirit. I always remind myself that it is the Holy Spirit who knocks on the door of a convert’s heart; I am simply an open window, a landing strip, an antenna that connects the power of God to the earth.
The allegory of the cave explains the problem Christians face when they try to explain life in the Spirit. The spiritual life ultimately cannot be taught. The light of God must be experienced, passed on like a living flame. Christianity is all about a living, vital relationship with Christ, not merely intellectual knowledge. Christ brings man into a relationship with God once again by the power of His death and resurrection:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. (Revelation 21:3)
The Catcheism of the Catholic Church describes life in reality, life is Christ:
1696 The way of Christ “leads to life”; a contrary way “leads to destruction.” The Gospel parable of the two ways remains ever present in the catechesis of the Church; it shows the importance of moral decisions for our salvation: “There are two ways, the one of life, the other of death; but between the two, there is a great difference.”21
1697Catechesis has to reveal in all clarity the joy and the demands of the way of Christ.22 Catechesis for the “newness of life”23 in him should be:
– a catechesis of the Holy Spirit, the interior Master of life according to Christ, a gentle guest and friend who inspires, guides, corrects, and strengthens this life;
As for me, I need God to continually break chains and lead me of my self-crafted cave into the SonShine. I need to live in reality. I refuse to play games, wear masks and costumes to fit into a false persona which I have crafted in my own mind. To live in truth means discovering my true self at my core, in the ground of my being. The longest journey is from our heads to our hearts. It is a silent journey within. As Catherine De Heuck Doherty (founder of Madonna House) said,
Close the wings of your intellect and open the wings of your heart.
Christianity is a heart to heart relationship, not merely an intellectual exercise or a matter of fulfilling tradition the law.
15 thoughts on “Sabbath Moments: Come Out of the Cave”
Excellent! From experience as a Phil major, I have noticed it is an occupational hazard to get ‘trapped in my intellect.’ thank you for daily Mass! :).
I call it mental kung-fu
That trip from the head to the heart is a long one and often difficult. I have been struggling with it for years but the heart is where I want to be. With God. Beautiful post and thanks for joining me at Sabbath Moments.
it takes decades
You’re so right about introducing the seeker to Christ. Fortunately we have the Holy Spirit who gives us the ears to listen and say the right words. I think the greatest blessing in life is to lead another person to Christ.
yes, it is one of the most joyful experiences in life
I’m pondering “Sharing about spiritual reality is like helping God make new neurological connections and this transformation takes time.” I know this is true for myself and need to invoke the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us always in speaking just the right words to those who he has prepa
those he has prepared to hear the truth.
Nancy, read this response to my article in Catholic Stand
John Darrouzet • 2 days ago −
Well written. From your heart. As Pascal writes: The heart has reasons that reason does not know.
In his book “The Point of View for my Work as an Author” by Soren Kierkegaard, he writes:
“…A direct attack only strengthens a person in his
illusion, and at the same time embitters him. There is nothing that requires
such gentle handling as an illusion, if one wishes to dispel it. If anything
prompts the prospective captive to set his will in opposition, all is lost. And
this is why a direct attack achieves, and it implies moreover the presumption
of requiring a man to make to another person, or in his presence, an admission
which he can make most profitably to himself privately. This is what is
achieved by the indirect method which, loving and serving the truth, arranges
everything dialectically for the prospective captive, and then shyly withdraws
(for love is always shy), so as not to witness the admission which he makes to
himself alone before God — that he has loved hitherto in an illusion.
“…if real success is to attend the effort to bring a man to a definite position, one must first of all take pains to find him where he is and begin there. This is the secret art of helping others. Anyone who has not mastered this is himself deluded when he proposes to help others. In order to help another effectively I must understand what he understands. If I do not know that, my greater understanding will be of no help to him…all true effort to help begins with self-humiliation: the helper must first humble himself under him he would help, and therewith must understand that to help does not mean to be a sovereign but to be a servant, that to help does not mean to be ambitious but to be patient, that to help means to endure for the time being the imputation that one is in the wrong and does not understand what the other understands.
“Take the case of a man who is passionately angry, and let us assume that he is really in the wrong. Unless you can begin with him by making it seem as if it were he that had to instruct you, and unless you can do it in such a way that the angry man, who was too impatient to listen to a word of yours, is glad to discover a
complaisant and attentive listener — if you cannot do that, you cannot help
him at all…if you cannot humble yourself, you are not genuinely serious. Be
the amazed listener who sits and hears what the other finds the more delight in
telling you because you listen with amazement…
“If you can do that, if you can find exactly the place where the other is and begin there, you may perhaps have the luck to lead him to the place where you are.
“For to be a teacher does not mean simply to affirm that such a thing is so, or to deliver a lecture, etc. No, to be a teacher in the right sense is to be a learner.
Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner, put yourself
in his place so that you may understand what he understands in the way he
This suggests we must be willing to go where others are and listen to the roots of their worldview. Plato’s work “The Sophist” is an excellent dialogue demonstrating what we are up against. If you would like to talk about how it works, I would gladly do so. Just let me know.
Here’s a link to a movie about this whole problem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…
Love it! I’m “pressing it” now.