Self, Modernity, Kingdom

[Posted on Facebook yesterday.]

"You men have within you a desire to behold the supreme good. Now when you are told that the majesty of God is exalted above the heavens, that His glory is inexpressible, His beauty indescribable, and His nature transcendent, do not despair because you cannot behold the object of your desire. If by a diligent life of virtue you wash away the film of dirt that covers your heart, then the divine beauty will shine forth in you."

In today's matins, Saint Gregory of Nyssa glosses "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God" by combining it with "The Kingdom of God is within you."

Now the Kingdom is dynamite for politics, because here we speak of the justice of Jesus accomplished on the Cross, the justification, the vindication, of each of us sinners by a limitless love, opening the way to universal reconciliation. But politics is inseparable from interiority, and from the vision born of silence and stillness, the eye for the invisible, for what is noble and beautiful and true in spite of the worldly visibilities of winning.

That is, the revolution of love always begins with earnest and perpetual conversion of heart. The solitary relationship between the soul and the Threefold Love is no ladder to be kicked away after universal reconciliation and intimacy are reached. The secret of every love and all solidarity are the private intensities coursing between self and God, a relation as tempestuous as any on earth. But once each combatant is exhausted, comes the blessing.

The self is the great obstacle and the great gift. And everything true about the modern age and its subjective turn is unleashed when we have the eyes to see the transcendence in glorious array pressing in, within, what we had thought our private ownmost. In the most solitary place, one finds the universality of love.