Actions of Love, Actions of Compassion—God in History

Yesterday we meditated on being, interbeing and compassion and how returning to our Source and touching being leads to fruitful action from non-action. 

Presence and compassion. Image by Alice Popkorn on Flickr

To recognize that God is compassion and that compassion is our godly work and our working out of our shared existence and interdependence and interbeing is very important.  It forms a substrate for all the work we do in our time on earth from earning a living to raising a family; from being friends to our family and friends to standing up to injustice and lies and distortions within ourselves or our culture and its structures. 

If “compassion means justice” as Eckhart insists (and the Jewish prophets of old insist), then to do justice in the midst of injustice is to bring the Divine back to history and culture.  It is to bring love back since “God is love” and compassion is another word for love.  And justice is another word for love.

It is to bring God back, back into our consciousness and our work, back into history, it is part of what Pere Chenu calls therefore “continuous incarnation,” ongoing incarnation.  It is God made flesh, made historical, made present.

Even in the dark forest, the stars shine. Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

That God is love is found in the first Epistle of John in the Christian Bible (1 Jn 4.16) and in many other places including in St Paul’s shout out: “Who shall separate us from the love of God?….Neither death nor life, height nor depth, neither present nor future.”  (Romans 8:35, 38)

Meister Eckhart says: “Love is nothing other than God….In the same love in which God loves the Godself, God loves all things.” 

God as love is found in other traditions as well such as in the Song of Songs in the Hebrew Bible and in the following teaching from Rumi who says: “All the universe is born of Love—But where did this Love come from?”  And again, “Lose your soul in God’s love, I swear there is no other way.”  

Love causes the earth to tremble.
God said, ‘If not by pure love
How could I have created this world?
I have brought everything into existence,…
So you could know the glory of Love.’

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God…Including the Unnameable God, p. 1.  

And Fox, Meditations with Meister Eckhart.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Icon of Dorothy Day recognizing the Christ presence in a homeless man. Image by iconographer Kelly Latimore; used with permission. Purchase HERE.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you agree with Rumi that everything has been brought into existence “so that you (and all) could know the glory of Love”?

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4 thoughts on “Actions of Love, Actions of Compassion—God in History”

  1. Avatar

    The universal mystic claim that God is love, compassion, truth and justice assists us in understanding the warning that we should not ‘take God’s name in vain’. We do this when we claim to love or represent God while we are mindlessly and soullessly marginalizing and harming others and the earth with a purpose of control and self aggrandizement. If we don’t recognize that ‘God the Mother’ and ‘God the Father’ represent this compassion we destroy the ground of our own being. Putin has named his newest weapon SATAN II. It seems to me that Putin is an offspring of the global military industrial complex fueled by dark money.

  2. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    Ilia Delio speaks of the Trinitarian nature of Love… as Agape, Eros and Philia in relationship to Chardin’s Cosmic Christ.

    Agape Love is unconditional, spontaneous; indifferent to any type of reward or reciprocity. It is a profound recognition of the worthiness, goodness and beauty experienced in the self-giving of freely loving, for the good of the other. Agape Love, repays evil with good. (God)

    Eros Love is acting intentionally, in sympathetic, compassionate and merciful response to others; to promote anothers overall well being; which affirms what is of value, beautiful and good in another. Eros Love, affirms the good and promotes this. (Holy Spirit)

    Philia Love, is giving oneself over to relationship with; co-creating beauty and goodness, which cannot be achieved separately, but rather is expressed in communal life, life loved through community, together. (Christ)

    The mystics see Trinitarian Love, as Cosmic Love; as the unfolding, evolving, emerging, continous incarnation of the Holy Spirit of the Cosmic Christ, converging with humanity; cooperating together for the purpose of promoting the well being of all life; which is the foundation which compliments the rise of consciousness… the resurrection of the sacred union and wholeness of the nature of our true Oneness… the bonding, relational principle of integrated wholeness; which is the goal of evolution… the convergence towards which we are being consciously awakened to.

  3. Avatar

    Some words I wrote early this morning for another post.

    “Love To Be Love is Ever Present”
    The ‘Cloud of Unknowing’ can also be referred to as the ‘Cloud of Revelation’. We need to realize that God wants to share the full extent of I AM’s love for us. Lover’s share, do they not? Lovers come together and spend as much time together as they can, do they not? ‘God, the Father, the Mother, the Son, the Daughter, the Spirit, want to show us, reveal to us, who they are what they are and in turn who we really are as Sons and Daughters, Brothers and Sisters in the glory of all existence.

    The magnitude of ‘one in being’ is a wholesome and wondrous embrace if not anything else. Knowledge and wisdom imparted can be revealed, but the wholesome embrace of ‘one in being’ is an experience beyond one’s experience and beyond descriptive language. Those to experience this embrace refer to it as bliss and ecstasy and a gift that we alone are incapable of giving to another. To taste ‘the embrace’ is to taste eternal love. To taste ‘the embrace’ provides within ourselves the desire for this relationship we have with the ‘Unknown’ to deepen, to extend in duration and be ‘ever present’. Love to be love is ‘ever present’. — BB.

  4. Avatar

    Everything in creation reflects and manifests the glory and the love of God. To experience awe and joy from creation, including other humans, is a response of love to God’s love, which is like a never-ending feedback loop of love that grows and grows with practice. Words do not suffice, although we try to name the experience of the Presence.

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