Quote for the Day

The grace of God is to God himself as sunlight is to the sun — a means and a way leading us to the latter. It therefore shines within us in a simple, one-fold way and makes us deiform, that is, like God. This likeness constantly sinks away, dying in God and becoming and remaining one with him, for charity makes us become one with God and causes us to remain living in union with him.

— Blessed John Ruusbroec, The Spiritual Espousals

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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • http://RockOm.net Tommy

    Ah… feels great reading this and then letting it sink deep inside. :)

  • http://meadowsweet-myrrh.blogspot.com/ Ali

    As a spiritual seeker, I appreciate the sentiment. But as a poet… I can’t help thinking it’s not a very good metaphorical analogy.

    Sunlight doesn’t lead us to the sun, or make us become sun-like. It gives of itself freely, regardless of circumstance, and is the very thing which enables life to exist on this earth. Even those things which dwell far from the light depend on the energy that others have absorbed and passed on. Sunlight illuminates and sustains, but it does not make us become suns ourselves. It does not force us to become like it, but gives us what we need in order to live in mind-boggling complexity and diversity of our own natures. Really, it is precisely because it does not just consume us or burn us up–because of the distance between–that the sun is so utterly important to us. Were the planet just a bit closer…. life as we know it would be extinguished.

    In some ways, I think this is why sunlight is a good metaphor for the Divine. Not because it makes us “like the sun,” but because we are literally made up of sunlight and stardust, and yet we are so astoundingly unique and colorfully opaque.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/carlmccolman/ Carl McColman

    I think Ruusbroec’s idea that “this likeness constantly sinks away” might point to some of the ideas you are expressing. The beauty of the sun lies in how it continually is giving its light and heat away. We are might of stardust and sunlight and yet the likeness of the stars “sink away,” creating in us the freedom to be who we are — even if that is not always very star-like.