“The world is the unquiet city of those who live for themselves and therefore are divided against one another in a struggle that cannot end.” – Thomas Merton
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You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
I believe St. Paul’s great awakening came in that fateful experience he had on the road to Damascus.
At the time, he was known as Saul.
He was basically terrorizing Christians because he thought he was doing what God wanted him to do.
As the scripture tells it: “On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:3-4)
The voice identified as Jesus.
Saul, who would become known as Paul, realized in a shocking, mystical moment, that by persecuting Christians he was persecuting Jesus himself.
Hence, Paul realized that there is one body of Christ.
What you do to the one, you do to all.
Paul is awakened to the great truth that there is only this moment; this is the time.
And in this moment, all are one.
This is our salvation – meaning path to wholeness.
All the works of darkness must be dropped.
Those works are acts that simply aim to satisfy the false self which mistakenly believes it is set apart from others.
The armor of light shines upon these areas of darkness so they can be clearly seen as delusions of separation from the Oneness of all.
As Paul states: “the day is at hand.”
It’s right here.
As Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is among you” (Luke 17:21).
It’s within you.
You are already one with the One who created you.
All are one in this Oneness, the great “I AM”; God if you prefer – Love itself.
But the false self fears the demise of its autonomy.
It objects to being one with others.
Hence, Jesus teaches to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44).
This is our disorienting dilemma.
What will we do?
Jesus instructed: Lose your life to find your life. (Matthew 10:39)
Let go of the delusion of separation and be free.
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Remember: God loves you!