Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Enduring the Glance

I had FaceTime with my daughter Clare today. As you can see in the screenshot above, she OWNS FaceTime. She literally IS FaceTime. 

There's something so beautiful about children at this age (she's 3). There's an intensity and an exuberant joy in everything. It comes beaming from those eyes like barbed lightning. Those all expressive eyes! It got me thinking about this incredible insight from Von Balthasar that I've been meditating on this Lent:

"Holiness consists in enduring God's glance.  It may appear mere passivity to withstand the look of an eye; but everyone knows how much exertion is required when this occurs in an essential encounter. Our glances mostly brush by each other indirectly, or they turn quickly away, or they give themselves not personally but only socially.  So too do we constantly flee form God into a distance that is theoretical, rhetorical, sentimental, aesthetic, or most frequently, pious. Or we flee from him to external works. And yet, the best thing would be to surrender one's naked heart to the fire of this all-penetrating glance. The heart would then itself have to catch fire... it would be yielding, declaring oneself beaten, capitulating, entrusting oneself, casting oneself into him."

What an incredibly insightful thought. And then it gets even better!

"It would be childlike loving, since for children the glance of the father is not painful: with wide-open eyes they look into his. Little Thérèse - great little Thérèse - could do it. Augustine's formula on the essence of eternity: videntem videre - ‘to look at him who is looking at you.’"
- Hans Urs Von Balthasar, The Grain of Wheat

I think our earthly life is a practice for this eternal "FaceTime" with the God of Beauty. 
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