Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing. It's making me remember this Lent, which could be good; the last Lent I actually remember was one during which I walked every day, praying the Rosary as I strode along with Howie on his leash. Before that, I don't really remember Lents, except for 2001, when I slept on the floor and kept a dream journal -- which proved fruitful for me. But I will remember this Fever Lent.
Focusing on the Ignatian Examen as much as my fevered brain can, I've tried to let myself get away from thinking that this world is the reality of mankind. It isn't. It's a construct, much like the world of The Matrix. (At least the first one in the trilogy -- the other two were just stupid.) We move through it, but it isn't what's real.
Or better said, it isn't what is ultimately real.
Anyway, the Examen begins with this sentence: "Recall you are in the presence of God." Now somehow, that calls to mind being in the presence of the King, or maybe being called before the presence of the judge, as though we stand before God. God over there, us over here. We are in front of God. We are in God's room. God sits on his throne and smacks his head over the idiot standing with hat in hand bawling, "Please, Massa, don' beat on this poor old sinner!"
Phraseology can be tricky. What if the word in that sentence -- "in" -- was the focus?
God is not over there or apart from us. God is All in All. There is no "place" that God goes away to when he's tired of hearing us whine; indeed, God doesn't get tired.
The presence of God is what is real. I need to recall daily that I am in that presence. Embedded, carried, held, -- inside, not apart. Not standing in front of, not down on Earth looking up at clouds wondering if God is reclining up there, not on the other side of some impenetrable wall. This creation is God, held in being by God, and I am in that.
For me, this is a good thought to carry away from this Lent. 2014, the Lent of Fever and In.