In yesterday’s reflection we spoke about how the Trinity desires to make his home in our hearts, to dwell within us in ineffable intimacy. We also said that this indwelling of God within us is also, simultaneously, his welcoming of us into the Home of his own innermost life of love. This mutual indwelling is the deepest desire of God and the culmination of the prayer and the saving work of Jesus himself, who prayed that “all may be one, Father; as you are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us.” Further, in this mutual indwelling, God is able to perpetuate in us the mysteries of the life of Christ, allowing a kind of “extended incarnation” to occur within our hearts and lives, as God’s Love reaches out in and through us to make itself present in every time and place.

In this reflection, there is a second element of this “indwelling” that we also want to speak about—a second element of the mystery of “home.” We said that we are invited to open ourselves as a “home” for the Blessed Trinity, but we are also invited to be a “home” for each one of our brothers and sisters in this world. Indeed, the first reality—letting God make his home in us—allows the second one to blossom. As we welcome the love that God has for us and open our hearts to let him come and dwell in us, our whole being is dilated and expanded by his presence.

As he makes his home in us it is even more true that he is welcoming us into the Home of his own Heart. Therefore, having found our Home in the Trinity, we are able to open our own hearts and lives for all of the thirsting hearts within this world. We can welcome them, love them, and accompany them—seeing and accepting them in the light of the same love that we have first received from God. In this way our love can become a space in which they glimpse the immensity of God’s own love, in which they can taste the shelter of his own enveloping embrace.

The “home” of our own heart becomes a safe dwelling-place for them in this world, in which they truly find another person before whom they can share themselves, certain that they are reverenced, accepted, and authentically loved. And ultimately this concrete and intimate human love opens the way directly for others to encounter God and his own openness the welcome and to shelter them. In a way, our heart becomes a kind of “antechamber” through which they pass into the House of the Father, into the intimacy of his most gentle embrace. And here we all find ourselves, together, sheltered in the perfect unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, made one with our loving God and one, through him and in him, with one another.

All of this reveals to us the profound mystery that burns like a fire at the heart of every individual life—this most intimate mystery that gives meaning to everything else. This mystery is precisely our belovedness before God, and his ardent desire to unite us to himself in intimate love. What does this mean, concretely? It means that the primary vocation of every human being is prayer. It is our vocation to an unspeakably deep communion with God that transcends all the limited expressions of human intimacy in this world, while eminently fulfilling them. This is the most perfect union of Parent and child, the most intimate mutual indwelling of Bridegroom and bride, and also the radiant fruitfulness of love that spontaneously flows from this union.

The contemplative life, therefore, lies at the heart of every person’s existence, whatever its external contours may be. It is the most intimate and interior form that gives meaning to everything else and expresses itself in the particular richness and multiplicity of the different vocations and circumstances of daily life. In other words, we are all invited to repose within the enveloping embrace of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…already in this life, and perfectly forever in the next. This movement into the embrace of God is the inner trajectory of our whole existence, since God has created us for precisely this purpose. On the other hand, this mystery of contemplative intimacy is also the center from which all spreads, like the ripples cast from a pebble thrown into still water.

To live a life of deep prayer, therefore, is to place one’s life entirely into the hands of our loving Father, to give him permission to show himself to truly be our loving Father. And he will show us! It is also to embrace the deep desire in our heart for union with the divine Bridegroom, with the ineffable divine Beauty that touches and draws our hearts so powerfully, and in which alone we will be at rest. It is to place the Most Holy Trinity at the very center of one’s existence, such that all things orbit around the pursuit of ever-deepening intimacy with him and radical receptivity to his gift. This also implies recognizing and living the primacy of interpersonal intimacy over all external tasks or achievements. By doing this we embrace and witness to the highest vocation of the human person, the one in which all secondary vocations find their context: the vocation to love and intimacy, first of all with God, and then, in him, with our brothers and sisters.

In summary, through prayer we are invited to return to the Source, from which the whole of creation ceaselessly flows through an act of God’s perfect love, and in this way reunite with the very Foundation of all being. Further, this union with God, our Source and Foundation, is not only a matter of an individual, isolated life, but rather bears, and in a way unifies, the whole creation by carrying it back into the welcoming embrace of the Trinity. It allows all things to return again to their Wellspring and to find their consummation in his enveloping Love.

We can imagine this movement, for example, with the image of a prism, through which light passes. Before it touches the prism, the light is undivided in its heat and radiance, bearing all colors as one within its unified intensity. However, after passing through the prism its light is divided in a multiplicity of different colors. To enter into the heart of prayer and contemplation is to return to the space in which the prism first meets the light, welcoming its undivided and undimmed radiance.

This image is imperfect, as the unified light of God already bears in itself the fullness of all multiplicity and the richness of all color even before encountering the prism of creation, but nonetheless it is very insightful. The whole of created reality flows forth from the single mystery of God’s Love, each being reflecting this Love in its own unique way. The same is true for every individual human person, each of whom manifests God’s Light in an unrepeatable way in his or her concrete existence. Nonetheless, at the inmost core of the being of each one of us, we bear the seal of Infinite Love, the impress of Eternity, the mystery of Fullness. And therefore we long not just for partiality, not just for multiplicity, but for Fullness, Totality, and Unity.

We yearn to return to the Source, where our being is united to the fullness of Being, and where our uniqueness is wed in intimate love to the uniqueness of every other being—a uniqueness that is not destroyed by returning into the Unity of God, but rather consummated in the most eminent way. This is what occurs in the depths of our surrender to the Holy Trinity. We immerse ourselves in the undivided light of his Love, and in doing so we rediscover all things in abundant fullness, bound together as one within the perfect unity of his own all-encompassing Mystery.

Reflection Questions:

So many hearts within this world are thirsting for love and acceptance, for a “home” in the welcoming heart of another. Do I feel in myself the desire to offer my heart to others in this way? How?

If intimacy with God in prayer is truly the central vocation of every human being, the ultimate destiny of each one of us, am I seeking and living this reality?

Do I understand the image of the prism? What is my response to the reality that this image represents?