I've been reading and re-reading...
Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer by Richard Rohr. I am reflecting upon a quote he uses from Dostoyevsky that I'd like to share with you. However, before I do, I will share two simple, yet profound statements Rohr makes that are illuminated by the Dostoyevsky quote.
To become aware of God's presence in our lives, we have to accept what is often difficult...radical grace is like living in another world. -Rohr
Having been riveted by the media coverage of the upheaval in Ferguson, the barbarism in Iraq by ISIS and the conflict in Gaza, I have desperately been looking for evidence of God's presence in the world. Radical grace does seem like living in another world when I view these images of sin and chaos.
Dostoyevsky's quote focuses our view on accepting what is often difficult in this hateful world of ours, but is essential to experience the kingdom of God in our midst.
Love people even in their sin, for that is the semblance of Divine Love and is the highest love on earth. Love all of God's creation, the whole and every grain of sand of it. Love every leaf, every ray of God's light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the diving mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love. -Fyodor Dostoyevsky
This type of love is difficult and sounds like living in another world. As I reflect upon this quote, the story of Dr. Kent Brantly, the missionary doctor who was infected with the ebola virus, came to mind. I listened to his inspiring news conference speech and heard Dostoyevsky's quote come alive. He said, God often leads us to unexpected places and God called us to serve the people of Liberia.
Followers of Jesus are called to love God, neighbor and enemy. This radical grace is like living in another world! To God be the glory.