“The Grace of God utterly and wholly permeates our lives, just as we are in the present moment. All of our failures and weaknesses are absolutely irrelevant in the face of such all-pervading grace.” – Dr. James Finley, Merton scholar.
In the early stages of spiritual development, we typically become acutely aware of our own brokenness in some way or another. This means we become aware of our separateness from God, though we usually understand it in relation to rules and our inability to perfectly keep them.
I don’t know that this awareness ceases, but in the later stages, when we start to experience a significant rootedness in our maturity, that awareness is transformed. We come to see our separateness and brokenness differently because God has included it in the process of becoming whole. So, sin remains. Brokenness remains. Human nature remains, but is now held differently. It’s held by God and, we start to realize, it was all along – we just didn’t know it.
With all that is wrong being included in the encompassing Transcendence that is God, nothing is wrong.
The statement “nothing is wrong” is simultaneously empirically-untrue and spiritually-true because Mystery includes paradox – not just in itself, but in how the encounter with Mystery is expressed on our part.
So, to Christians who continually grieve issues related to sin, I say take heart. You don’t have to relate to God that way. In fact, God went to great lengths that you wouldn’t. Despite things being very wrong, there is nothing wrong. Which will you set your eyes upon? Which will you emphasize? Which will you shape your theological understanding by? Which will you form your sense of self around? Which will you relate to God on the basis of?
Before you are Life and death. Which will you choose?