The place of tears

Daily Reading, May 3

It was Isaac of Nineveh who confirmed what I had supposed all this time: that the biblical phrase “the world to come” refers not to pie-in-the-sky by-and-by but to “the kingdom of heaven within you.”

Once you have reached the place of tears, then know that the mind has left the prison of this world and set its foot on the road towards the new world. Then it begins to breathe the wonderful air which is there; it begins to shed tears. For now the birth pangs of the spiritual infant grow strong, since grace, the common mother of all, makes haste to give birth mystically to the soul, the image of God, into the light of the world to come. . . . Then you will start to become aware of the transformation which the whole nature will receive in the renewal of all things, dimly and as though by hints.

Heaven is without beginning and without end. It’s when I’m not looking for heaven that heaven appears. It is by definition more than I can ask or imagine. It permeates all that I live, have lived, and will live, in weal and in woe. It suffuses the ordinary flow of our lives if only we will stop trying to cut it down to our size, to objectify it, to make it finitely less than it is.

From “Heaven Can’t Wait” by Maggie Ross, in Heaven, edited by Roger Ferlo. A Seabury Book from Church Publishing. Copyright © 2007. Used by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY.

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