The moment the Holy Spirit grants us to know the hypostatic form of prayer we can begin to break the fetters that shackle us. Emerging from the prison cell of selfish individualism into the wide expanse of life in the image of Christ, we perceive the nature of the personalism of the Gospel. Let us pause for a moment to examine the difference between these two theological concepts: the individual and the persona. It is a recognised fact that the ego is the weapon in the struggle for existence of the individual who refuses Christ’s call to open our hearts to total, universal love. The persona, by contrast, is inconceivable without all-embracing love either in the Divine Being or in the human being. Prolonged and far from easy ascetic effort can open our eyes to the love that Christ taught, and we can apprehend the whole world through ourselves, through our own sufferings and searchings.
We become like a world-wide radio receiver and can identify ourselves with the tragic element, not only in the lives of individual people but of the world at large, and we pray for the world as for our own selves. In this kind of prayer the spirit beholds the depths of evil, the sombre result of having eaten of the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’. But it is not only evil that we see–we make contact, too, with Absolute Good, with God, Who translates our prayer into a vision of Uncreated Light. The soul may then forget the world for whom she was praying, and cease to be aware of the body. The prayer of divine love becomes our very being, our body.
The soul may return to this world. But the spirit of man, having experienced his resurrection and come near existentially to eternity, is even further persuaded that tragedy and death are the consequence of sin and that there is no other way to salvation than through Christ.
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