I THINK I’VE BEEN WAITING all my life for Cynthia Bourgeault’s Mystical Hope. Aware of a sense of vocation to the Christian priesthood at the tender age of 8, I have since then been more and more and more convinced by the tender inner voice and touch of “the Anointed” (the Christ) than by “revivalist” assurances of reward for the religiously verbose and assured, and eternal torment for any and all who don’t sign up to a particular dogmatic line.
More convinced in each succeeding day that the Divine Love (Who Cynthia Bourgeault refers to as simply “the Mercy”) intends, at the heart and kernel of all things, and at their ultimate fulfilment, to draw all Creation into perfect love and peace – what Camus called an “invincible summer” – one that he had some experience of in the here and NOW. A hint, an encouragement, a taster of such a life, in the heart of his own life, in the body, in the here and now.
Mercy imposes no conditions. And, lo! Everything we have chosen has been granted to us. And everything we rejected has also been granted. Yes, we get back even what we rejected. For mercy and truth are met together. Righteousness and bliss shall kiss one another
General Lowenhielm, quoting Psalm 85, in the film adaptation of Isak Dinesen’s Babette’s Feast, in Cynthia Bourgeault, Mystical Hope.
I couldn’t begin to do justice to what I’ve read of Mystical Hope thus far, though I don’t doubt that I’ll return to it in these musings again and again. What I can do, rather unusually for me, is assure anyone who happens upon this note that, if they’re touched by a vision where “Righteousness and bliss shall kiss one another”, they should, with all speed, get hold of a copy of the book.
This is the business and the gift of contemplation and meditation. It changes lives. It changes mine. It’s eye contact like that between Mother Teresa and the infant in this photo. Each contemplating the soul of the other. Righteousness and bliss. This sort of vision sees into souls – we into God’s, and God’s into our own. Resting in the tender hands of Divine Wisdom. The Mercy.