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Mystical Core

The only thing to be done now,
now that the waves of our undoing have begun to strike on us,
is to contain ourselves.

To keep still, and let the wreckage of ourselves go,
let everything go, as the wave smashes us,
yet keep still, and hold
the tiny grain of something that no wave can wash away,
not even the most massive wave of destiny.

Among all the smashed debris of myself,
Keep quiet, and wait.
For the word is Resurrection.
And even the sea of seas will have to give up its dead.

D. H. Lawrence, “Be Still!” D. H. Lawrence: Complete Poems,
Edited by Vivian de Sola Pinto and Warren F. Roberts

What are our own waves of undoing? What are the waves that feel as if they would smash us into oblivion?

  • Exterior circumstances beyond our control?
  • Profound loss, grief?
  • Personal attitudes?
  • Illness?
  • Deep interior wounds?
  • Discouragement or fear?
  • Our own weakness or sinfulness?
  • Aging or diminishment?

D. H. Lawrence says that the only thing to be done is to contain ourselves.  If this is so, how are we to contain ourselves?

Does this mean giving up on life?  No, not at all.  Does it mean adopting a fortress mentality – walling ourselves round about so that nothing can touch us?  No, just the contrary, I believe.

It means turning to what is most vital and most true to ourselves.

According to the poet, when we are feeling helpless against the waves of destiny, we must:

…keep still, and let the wreckage of ourselves go,
let everything go, as the wave smashes us,
yet keep still, and hold
the tiny grain of something that no wave can wash away,
not even the most massive wave of destiny.

When the ship we are on is sinking, we do not weigh ourselves down with stacks of old magazines or a closetful of clothes and shoes. If the house is on fire, we do not dally long enough to carry out the rubbish or even to pile up our favorite books or retrieve the jewelry.  We hold to nothing but the essential.

This “tiny grain of something” can only be the essential core of ourselves, what we have named in a Cenacle assembly as the mystical dimension of our life – that part of ourselves both as individuals and as corporate body that knows God, that is never apart from God, that sees God face to face even when our conscious life perceives nothing and is overwhelmed by the waves, even as we tumble over and over helplessly on the dark shore. Here the Holy Spirit prays in us and intercedes for us (see Romans 8). It is in this tiny grain that we are who we truly are.

LIke the widow’s mite (Mark 12), this grain may seem of little account, but in reality it represents all we are and all we have.  So we must let the “wreckage of ourselves go,” be still, and claim nothing but this indestructible grain.

  • It is in this quintessential kernel of being that we are able to “keep quiet and wait,” though there may appear to be nothing left to wait for;
  • It is here that sighs and murmurs, creakings and groans, once fearful, do not foretell destruction, but Resurrection;
  • It is from this core that the Spirit at times surprises us with glimpses of beauty or goodness.

It is this tiny grain:

  • that whispers in us that in all things God works for good with those who love God (Romans 8:28);
  • that reveals to us that while our own love for God and neighbor is insufficient, we may love rightly and serve well from that same central grain through which we love with the love of Christ.

In truth each of us is being undone in one way or another.  If nothing else manages to undo us, time and age most certainly will accomplish the task.  The only tragic outcome would be not to yield to our remaking through that “tiny grain of something,” through the mystical core of ourselves where God is known.

4 Responses to “Mystical Core”

  1. Lori Madison says:

    A beautiful and powerful post. Thank you for sharing it.

    God Bless you.

  2. Lori Madison says:

    A beautiful and powerful post. Thank you for sharing it.

    God Bless you.

  3. Cybernun says:

    You’re welcome, Lori. Thanks for your comment.

  4. For true love, the ultimate test:
    do I have inner peace, inner rest?
    Love’s symptom’s not my mind churning—
    Love’s symptom’s my heart quiet, burning—
    Accepting I cannot change another—
    Whether spouse or child, sister or brother.
    I can only change myself, my mind,
    Find courage to admit I’m blind,
    Courage to accept my wisdom-need,
    Remembering it starts as smallest seed,
    Remembering that whenever disturbed
    Something in me keeps me perturbed.
    Whenever I begin my martyr-song
    There’s something in me that’s going wrong—
    That finding that “something’s” better than gold,
    ‘cause I’m growing in wisdom and not just old.

    Wally Saunders December 2009
    http://www.myaddictioncoach.com

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