Monday, May 2, 2016

Saint John of the Cross and the Union of Glory

“Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
— 1 Corinthians 13:12b (KJV)
[In heaven] “I shall then love God even as I am loved by Him.”
— Saint John of the Cross (1542 – 1591)
RECONCILIATION makes its final play in the perpetual transformation to perfection that fuses itself to our soul instantly when we meet God in glory.  That ‘day’ is cosmically incomprehensible.
But that mystery is not what this article is about.  What this is about is something central to what we cannot experience here, and what we can only imagine in our mind’s eye.
Saint John of the Cross writes about our “union of the will” — our love for God, here — in contrast to our possession, to come, in the “union of glory” — over life’s horizon, beyond reach just now.  That union with God in glory will bring to us an awareness of His love for us, which will transform our own love for Him, which will be perfected with light speed immediacy.
We cannot quite know how God loves us.  We cannot quite touch it.  We can think we know, but we truly have no idea how much, and to what extent is His love for us, person for person; how intimately He knows us, and how much more He loves us than we can even love ourselves.  Just the same we cannot love God the way we probably should, because of the fact we have just considered.  But, of course, God knows.  He oversees the Program of Life.  He is patently aware that we will know in the end.
If we truly knew how much God loves us we would love Him back with such a deserving love.  But in this life we cannot.
One day, God will say to us, “I see that you see what I see.  You see what I have seen all your life, your life which I created.  You see the love I have for every person, to every corner of my creation.  And now I see what I knew I would see; you can love me now the same as I have always loved you.”
God loves us much more than we can ever love ourselves or love Him, and when we do finally understand that mystery, we will love Him with the perfect love we ourselves deserve, in Christ, which is the same love with which He has loved us.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.

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