The purest form of God’s presence

“There is another aspect to God’s presence that is incomparable, which is the unmanifest or uncreated. This is communion with the presence of God as he is in himself and which only pure faith can access.

“Such communion is vastly more significant than the awareness or experience of God that our faculties can relate to, whether they involve the overflow of the Spirit into the senses, the exercise of intellect, or the experience of the intuitive faculties.

“Saint Paul calls it the vision of God; that is to say, presence to presence—our basic being just as we are and God’s being just as God is, without the intermediary of thoughts, feelings, or anything else.

“Through contemplative prayer a certain detachment from these experiences enables us to realize that we are always in contact with the unmanifest God that penetrates all things. In this sense, there is no place to go to find him, and there is no place not to go. God is. He doesn’t have to do anything; he just is. God, you might say, is not a noun, but a verb. He is always happening, and that happening is the content of the present moment, whatever that is.

“On our part, it means a willingness to live in the present moment without being attached to its content and without giving way to an aversion for it. This is learning the divine way to be human, which is what the Fathers of the Church called deification. Paul says that we have within us the seed of God so that we are God’s children and not just adopted (see 1 Corinthians 3:6). The seed of a parent is what passes on the particular DNA that we have. The Spirit is the divine DNA, so to speak, that truly makes us a participator in the divine life. The largess or generosity of God is the hospitality in which he invites us into the Trinitarian life itself!

From Thomas Keating, “Consenting to God as God Is”

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