I was struggling to put down in words an encounter with God which happened on Friday, January 15, 2016 . . . yesterday. I knew for the change to take root, I had to articulate the experience so I would remember and not fall into old patterns once again, as I have a thousand other times. The joy was too wonderful to allow it to dissipate.
Then I ran across paintings by the Catholic artist Ladislav Zaborsky this morning. His art helped clarify and communicate my experiences with God because the essence of his work is linked to the experience of his inner life. Each painting is an attempt to discover God, eternity. He is a painter of spiritual light.
“The substance of my work is the experience of God transferred into my heart (…) Art that seeks truth and beauty is the anticipation of eternity.”
For decades, I have longed to say with St. Paul, ” I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Even though I have been a committed Christian since my mid-teens, perhaps since I was still a tiny child
And a Catholic convert for 41 years
Even though I have been graced with thousands of Divine encounters
Encounters which have shaken me
Each and every time the flame of His Presence
Touched me, I was changed.
Yet my deepest self still did not rest in the Love of God.
I did not fully trust and surrender control to the Almighty.
Rather fear gripped the tiny child within,
Imprisoning her in isolation.
The door seemed locked, bolted shut
Secretly, I believed a lie; Divine love would hurt me.
Divine Love would destroy the crushed reed of my inner self, snuff out my flickering flame.
Once again, yesterday, I repented as I have for a thousand times.
Once again I wept
But this time, something shifted deeper
This time, I understood the key and bolt were not on the other side of the door but on my side
I simply touched the door and it swung open,
Opening into a garden, a lush garden.
It was Eden, a heavenly Eden
A place of peace and security, safe.
Then a beam of light shone down on my three-year-old self.
The cursed generational hand which had gripped my soul from the grave for decades,
Finally lay shrivelled at my feet.
My heart soared with a tangible joy as an intimate Love flooded my heart
Christ IS my defender, my consoler, my constant companion.
My only reason for existing. I now smile as I surrender control for it really is possible to say:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal 2:20