The Father and I are one

Daily Reading for April 28

The basic text for Christian practice is “the Father and I are one.” Christ came to save us from our sins, but only as the essential preliminary to our ultimate destiny. The source of all sin is the sense of a separate self. . . . Christ came to communicate to each of us his own personal experience of the Father. However, even when the separate self has been joined to Christ, it is still a self. The ultimate state to which we are called is beyond any fixed point of reference such as a self. It transcends the personal union with Christ to which Paul referred when he said, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”

The death of Jesus on the cross was the death of his personal self, which in his case was a deified self. Christ’s resurrection and ascension is his passage into the Ultimate Reality: the sacrifice and loss of his deified self to become one with the Godhead. Since all reality is the manifestation of the Godhead and Christ has passed into identification with It, Christ is present everywhere and in everything. The cosmos is now the Body of the glorified Christ who dwells in every part of it.

Union with Christ on the cross—our entrance into his experience—leads to the death of our separate-self sense. To embrace the cross of Christ is to be willing to leave behind the self as a fixed point of reference. It is to die to all separation, even to a self that has been transformed. It is to be one with God, not just to experience it.

From The Mystery of Christ: The Liturgy as Spiritual Experience, in Foundations for Centering Prayer and the Christian Contemplative Life by Thomas Keating (New York: Continuum, 2006).

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