Silentium: Domus Dei

[N.B. I wrote this post while on retreat last week and simply uploaded it once I got back.]

It’s only been two days of silence so far, but I have to say that these two days have been the best I’ve had since coming to Rome. The Lord never fails to amaze me with his overwhelming presence, particularly when we quiet ourselves enough to see the magnanimity of our God. I was exceptionally struck by something our retreat master, Monsignor Bill Lyons, said the other day, and I’ll write a little bit of that here for you to read.

We often get caught up – at least I do – thinking about what heaven is really like; how can such a place exist, and how are we supposed to think about it since we are simply fragile human beings incapable of understanding any great mystery? God dwells in heaven, and we live on earth. How will we ever be able to contemplate the reality heaven? It seems inaccessibly far from us most of the time, and yet we are called to nothing less than pondering heaven in this life and living a holiness that opens us ever more to the grace of God and the Salvation won for us on the Cross.

Perhaps we can think of it this way: heaven is nothing other than the veiling of the invisible God, who is still present in our very midst. In fact, the Kingdom of God is at hand – as Pope Benedict addresses in his reflections on the Our Father – and we must live a life that attests to that truth. In order to see this reality, however, we cannot separate ourselves from our God; instead, we need to learn to see Jesus Christ as both Lord and Friend. The friendship of God is precisely what bridges the gap between the inaccessible heaven and the all-too-real earth. He still remains the Almighty King, but at the same time desires for us to call him our ‘friend.’ The paradox of all paradoxes… But, how beautiful is it the Sovereign Lord of the universe would humble himself to such a degree? It is precisely this beauty – this undeniable beauty – that converts our hearts and eventually brings us to desire God’s friendship more than anything else in the world.

  1. gravatar

    # by Anonymous - October 2, 2007 at 8:59 AM

    JPII said once years ago that heaven wasn't a place, its a relationship...with God obviously. That's the same thing B16 is saying. That little way of looking at heaven helped my prayer life alot.