Expressions Of Identity

Our purpose is not to simply be, but to work together in the collective sense with God in the creation of our own life, our own identity, our own destiny. 

A tree gives grandeur to God by existing as a tree.  It is by being just a tree that it is observing Him.  It consents to His creative love.  This tree, it is an expression of an idea which is in God and which is not distinct from the essence of God.  It is by expressing itself as a tree that it imitates God.

The more a tree is like itself, the more it is like Him.  If it tried to be something else that it was never intended to be, it would be less like God, and therefore it would give Him less majesty.

There are no two created beings that carry exact likeness.  Individuality should not be considered imperfection.  On the contrary, the perfection of each created thing is not merely an adaptive style to its abstract type but in its own individual identity with itself.  This particular tree will give glory to God by spreading its roots far and wide, it will raise its limbs into the air and it will seek the light of life in a way that no other tree before it or after it will ever do.

Each particular being, in its individuality, in its distinct nature and being, with all its own features and reserved abilities and its own sacrosanct identity, gives grandeur to God by being precisely what He wants it to be here and now, in the circumstances designed by His Love and His endless Art.

The formulae and certain charismas of all living and cultivating things, of inanimate beings, of beasts and blossoms—in reality all nature—constitute their holiness in the vision of God.  Their inward landscape is purity in its simplest form. It is the blueprint of His wisdom and His existence in them.

The unique awkward beauty of this Shetland pony, floundering in the snow saturated dirt on this chilly last day of November under these swelling clouds is a holiness blessed by God to His own creative wisdom and the glory of His nature at work, it alone asserts the glory of God.

These yellowed pale wildflowers along the side of this path that I am walking as we speak, the ones that most hardly ever notice, they are saints in their own simple way, grasping for the grandeur of God.

This leaf in my hand has its own roughness and its own ascending fractal pattern of veins, which characterizes its own holy nature, the brook trout hiding in the depths of this river are canonized by their specific speckled beauty and their strength.

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This great, wounded, half-naked mountain that looms ahead of me is one of God’s most majestic works of art. There is no one thing like her.  She is her own character—nothing else in the world ever did or ever will imitate God in the same way.  That is her sanctity.

What about you?  What about me?

Unlike the animals, the trees, and all of these inanimate beings, it is not enough for us to be what our nature intends.  It is not enough for us to be individuals.  For us unfortunately, holiness means more than humanity.  If we are never anything but people, we will not be able to offer to God the worship of our imitation, which is sanctity.

It is considered a truth to say that for me sanctity consists in being myself and for you sanctity consists in being your self and that, in the last consideration, your sanctity will never be mine and mine will never be yours, except in the collectivism of charity and grace.

For me to be me means to be myself.  Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self.  And I must be honest, the more I place my eyes upon His scripted garden, the more I pray, I am coming to discover who I was meant to be.  But it is true that I still must walk this path, and it is also correct that this path is a lifelong journey, but I take pleasure in the beauty that I see and the beauty of His will that awaits me.

Trees and animals do not latch on to the same problems as we do.  God makes them what they are without consulting them and they live in the perfection of satisfaction.

With us it is entirely different.  God leaves us to be whatever we like.  We can be ourselves or not, as we please.  We are at liberty to be real, or to be unreal.  We may be true, we may be false, and that choice is ours.

Throughout life we may wear many different masks, if we so desire, and never emerge from our own true identity.  But this is a choice that must not be made with impunity.  Causes carry effects, and if we lie to ourselves and to others, then we cannot expect to find the truth and its reality whenever we happen to want them.  If one chooses the way of falsity one must not come to be surprised when the truth eludes them when they come to need it.

Our purpose is not to simply be, but to work together in the collective sense with God in the creation of our own life, our own identity, our own destiny.  We are beings built from the freedom God so graciously gave us. By this I mean to say that we should not passively exist, but actively possess the awareness to participate in His creative freedom, in our own lives, and in the lives of others, by choosing the truth.

To say it even better, we are called to share with God the work of creating the truth of our existence in our true identity.  We often evade this responsibility by toying with masks, and this does please us because it appears at times to be a free and creative way of expressing life.  It is quite easy and it will seem to please everyone.  But in the long run, it may carry a cost and sorrow may saturate in the depths your soul.

We must work out our own identity in God, in which the Bible says as follows:

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

Philippians 2 : 12

To find our own identity is a laborious task that requires sacrifice and anguish, risks and many tears. It demands close attention to reality at every moment, and great fidelity to God as He reveals Himself via obscurity, in the secrecy of each new situation.

There is no clear-cut path that lies ahead of me and it is not known beforehand what the result of this work may be.  The secret of my whole identity is hidden in You alone.  You will make me who I am, or rather who I will be when at last I fully begin to walk in Your presence.

But unless I desire my identity and work hard to find it with You, the work will never be done.  The way I must do it is a secret I can learn from no one else but You. There is no shortcut to this secret without faith in You.  But I now know that prayer is a precious gift that is never fleeting, and it alone has begun to enable me to see and begin to understand the work that You want done.

The seeds that this tree has planted in my liberty at every moment, by Your will, are the seeds of my identity, my reality, my happiness, and most important my sanctity.

To refuse them is to refuse everything; it is the refusal of my existence, of my own identity, of my very own self.   So I will not refuse them, instead I shall water them with Your will.

Yours truly—

Ryan Love


Seeds Of Sanctity

Keep silent for the most part, and speak only when you must, and be brief.

-Epictetus

It is sad but true that in this day and age everything has to be a “problem.”  We live in a time of anxious demeanor because it is our manner of giving anxiety the opportunity to do what it does by creating a problem.  Anxiety is not something that is inflicted upon us with force from exterior elements.  We inflict it upon our own world and upon one another from within ourselves.

Sanctity in these modern days is prescribed with the meaning of having “no doubt,” as when the mind travels from one arena of anxiety to the next in which anxiety does not exist. And perhaps it may mean to lean upon God, to be without anxiety in the midst of anxiousness, so that the debris of doubt may be left for the next traveler to deal with.

In the sense of all that is fundamental—it boils down to the silencing of all contradicting distractions that border your being.  Spending a quality amount of time with silence helps to reconcile the contradictions within and around us.  And although they will always run rampant, these contradictions cease to be a problem, because the Man Upstairs is the only one who deserves our fullest attention in the depths of silence.

Contradictive conflicts have long existed within the soul of man.  Yet when man prefers evaluation to silence—conflict turns constant and carries no solidity to an insoluble situation.  We are in no way meant to resolve all contradictions but instead we must live with them and rise above them to heights where only internal solution sees them as the dimness of objective values in which they are, where they become trivial by comparison.

Silence, then, belongs to the substance of sanctity—in silence hope remains steady like a winter’s first snow while strength carries the weight of doubt away.

When silence used to surround me, I saw it as a problem—it was then that I could never escape my own mind to find silence.  Then came the day that silence, it ceased to be a problem, and I came to figure out that my mind must’ve influenced it all along.

Still though, I knew the problem would come back to the surface because the internal fruits of subjectivity and understanding would never be enough for my mind.   Silence is supposed to show us what is objective and concrete, and it does after awhile.

Silence is meant to be an intimate occasion with something far superior to this world, as beautiful as Being itself.  Silence is but a way that we may lean upon the sanctity of God’s silence in a deepened state of peace.

only in returning to me and resting will you be saved.  In quietness and confidence is your strength.

Isaiah 30 : 15

We are a society that puts words between our true selves and things.  In most cases even God has become just another abstract reality in a land of language that no longer serves as a means of unity with reality. But it is through His Word and the writing of words that I fall into the silence that I seek to move forward with myself.

As I’ve said once before silence clears the air that was once filled with the smokescreen of a man’s mind and his thoughts.  In silence we will always stand face to face with the bare being of things, and still we find in the nakedness of reality that is easy to fear, that neither are a matter of anxiety or indignity.

The naked reality of these words should be considered as being clothed in the friendly fabric of silence, and this silence is very much linked to all that is love.  The world that words attempt to categorize and control will always sit tight with us, and it is in silence where I have learned to know my reality by respecting it where words have sometimes corrupted it.

When one has lived alone long enough with the new reality surrounding him—adoration of God alone will bring forth a few intriguing words from this silence, and this is the maternal material of Truth.

Words fall between stillness and silence—between the silence of distraction and the silence of our own being.  And in between the silence of the world and the silence of God, words will always fall upon our soul.  When we are truly content and have known the world in its silence, words we learn are not what separate us from the world, nor from God, nor from ourselves because we know not to trust certain language to contain reality.  But it is within the silent sanctuary of the Psalm we find hope in the sound of sanctified words.

If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.

Psalm 94 : 17

It is in stillness of the Psalm where we learn that truth rises in the silence of Being from the quiet tremors of His Word.  Then as we sink into silence again, the constricted truth of words pushes us down upon the silence of God.

Or rather He rises with a calm fury from the darkness of a moonlit sea, like a long lost treasure floating upon waves of words and when those waves of words recede—His brightness will forever be a light upon the golden shores of our being.

-BeLove


Made Of Love

The spiritual meaning of love is measured by what it can do. Love is meant to heal. Love is meant to renew. Love is meant to bring us closer to God.

-Marcus Aurelius

All souls are cut from the same cloth—woven together with a fabric spun in goodness—tied with the thread of God’s love.

This is no myth, but we may not always understand how he threads us together until we find ourselves drowning in a sea of doubt. It is when we are drowning that he sends a vessel to pull you from the toxic waters of fear and disbelief.

As we adjust to Love’s warmth under the blanket of redemption, we start to awaken inside. We feel the seed begin to blossom that He planted in us while in the womb of our mother.  And from that moment on, we feel our inner being billow through our mind, body and soul—growing free like a tree.  Now let us talk about the foundation of Love.

The foundation of love is the will to let those that we love be a perfect version of their true self. It is the tenacity not to twist them to fit our own image, but the image in which God envisioned when He made them. If in loving someone, we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them:  we only love the reflection of ourselves that we see in them.  This is not the grace of God’s love.  This is not the kind of Love God has intended for anyone.

Love is something that in the beginning stages we do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going.  What we must recognize with Love is that the possibilities and challenges that are offered must be embraced in the present moment.  And to hold on to those moments with courage, faith, and hope, but most important, is to be grateful for the graces that God has laid upon your path.

Love is spiritual in nature, because true Love at its roots is born in the spirit of being.  Love is not something that is anxious—love is patient. Anxiety is a mark of spiritual insecurity.  Patience is the mark of spiritual development.

Love seeks one thing only: the spiritual adoration of the one loved.  It leaves all the other secondary effects to take care of themselves.  Love therefore when allowed to perform at its highest experience is life’s paramount reward.  It is the most satisfying reward of the adoration of Love, found in the light of Christ moving through your spirit.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not know love does not know God, because God is Love.  In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we may live through him. Beloved if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

1 John 4 : 7-14

For the man who is seamless in love, he feels the love of God move through him.  In this he is able to experience within him, the presence of the Father, the source and giver of love.  The Son, who is the image and the glory of Love, and the Spirit, who is the communication of the Father and the Son in Love.

From the time we start feeling the mystical reign of Love every day, Love for Christ becomes more intimate, love for each other becomes more understanding, our love for those who are poor, without love, becomes more compassionate.  From there the purpose of one doubles, and becomes the life’s work of two.  And the time we spend with the audience of God is our work’s most precious time.

To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us—and He has given us everything. Every breath we breathe is a gift of His love, every moment of our existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.

Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, it is not something that is unresponsive, and instead it is a constant awakening to new wonders and praises of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good and that Love is King, not by hearsay but by experience.  And this is what makes all the difference.  And for this I am grateful.

Love after all, transforms the loved into the lover.

– Ryan Love


Taking Root

Every man must act in the rhythm of his time. Such is wisdom.

A newfound knowledge has opened these windows of my mind.  Meanwhile drafts of wisdom flow through them like an autumn wind—fragments of the old me sneak through the same window—seeking freedom from self-inflicted suffering.

My eyes gaze upon the infinite splendor of a midnight western sky and I bow my head, speaking hushed.

How is a man supposed to make sense out of his existence when doubt runs rampant all around him? How can he find authentic meaning by simply embracing a certain criteria of explanation—which professes to show him the ways and means of this world?

Perhaps, this is why in my self-contained state that I search these woods within me, like an eternal explorer.  Seeking what I can’t find until the end of my time.  And if you wouldn’t mind, let us take a little bit of time to get through this wilderness of mine?

I feel that I should further venture towards the shadier side of this wilderness—my soul—where the wolf waits, howling with the moon.   And it is true that “herded” men fear and industriously avoid the shadows of their own darkness.

But I am confident that with the presence of You within, that the “I” of me will find some harmony in the fragments of my being.  And it is with You at my side, that I am no ordinary man, for that alone, I do not fear the darkness in me.

It is true the worst thing a man can do when divvied up into a couple of different compartments is to seal off certain compartments from one another.  If it is felt that one is more essential than the other, then one will practice with mental prowess in trying to keep the hidden beast at bay.  This is what happens when deep reflection pushes itself in the direction of an unwise and distracted man.  To contemplate when divvied up refracts instead of reflects.

The first thing that must be done before falling into a contemplative state is to coerce your natural unity back into totality.  It is of the utmost importance to reintegrate the compartments of your fragmented being into another kind of alliance altogether.  This is when we allow our dual nature the chance at feeling the manifested presence of God within us.  Then and only then is our being wholly aligned with that of the Spirit.

The presence of God in His world as its Creator depends on no one but Him.  His presence as “I” perceive—is in the strength that I carry to harness my own beast within.  Therefore these fragments of me and “I” can find harmonious balance in His grace.

There isn’t a thing we can do to change the enigma of our existence, except live in the harmony of happiness and feel the presence of God within ourselves daily.  We are able to decide whether we ourselves, and the portion of the world, which is ours, shall become aware of His presence, thrive in it, become consecrated by it, and reshaped by its light.

In life we have the choice of two identities:  the external mask which at times seems to be real and which lives in an autonomous shadow for a brief moment of experience.  But it is the hidden, inner being, which seems to us to be nothing. But it’s that being that gives himself eternally to the truth in whom he subsists.  It is this inner self that is taken up into the mystery Of Christ, by His love, by the Holy Spirit, so that in secret we live “in Christ.”

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4 : 4-6

As I come to below Your night sky, I do feel that you have called upon me to help understand that explanation of You isn’t always sufficed—yet it is through the experience of You—where these lessons really move.  And it is nice to that we have started to claw at the surface of “I”, but we both know that we have a long way to go.

And the wolf—this beast in me—I now understand, is just one of the many ways you’ve chosen to speak through the fragments of me.  But for now I must catch a plane back to my roots. Yes there are some things that were buried long ago that You and I must dig up, so the seed will come full circle, and this relationship we are building will finally take its root.  Talk to you soon, Big Guy.

-BeLove


Where The Heart Lives

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

Proverbs 24 : 3-4

The heart it longs for home

and the ego will search

to the ends of earth

for the comforts of masquerading warmth.

 

But home is built around

the foundation within

while the soul scours the grounds

of hope’s lost and found

looking all over for the kind of love

in which a King is crowned.

 

This home—it does exist

in the realm of pure bliss

yet our deceptive mind

will send thoughts amiss

as the heart screams of loneliness.

 

You see the soul

will forever be an empty nest

if you don’t allow the Spirit

some satisfaction of steady rest.

 

For it is within the Temple of Self

that the Heaven we call home

sits with faith upon a shelf

framed within our being

He cleverly created without us seeing.

 

But the answer has long been hid

in those pleasures amid

the blowing grace of a capricious wind.

And this is when we learn

it is our soul that yearns

for the home of His celestial will.

 

For then and only then

comes a light that spills

upon a soul’s darkest end—

and in that little light within

love it will refill.

As a heart ascends

to the place

where home has always lived.

BeLove © 2018