Union with God
Union with God in the Circle of Love
-Deacon Frank De Frank
We have been loved into existence out of the Communion of self-emptying Love shared among the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Imprinted in our heart is the Divine Image...the infinite Presence embedded into our spiritual DNA. “Let us make people in our image to be like Ourselves.” (Gen.1:26) We are born in union with God and we “live and move and have our being” in God throughout our lives (Acts 17:28). It is within this Circle of Trinitarian Love that we live our lives. This is the ground out of which the CIRCLE apostolate emerges.
When we absorb this reality into our thinking, a whole new perspective unfolds for us. We realize that within the Circle of Love, our Triune God transmits “a live current—God’s living Presence pulsating within our heart which we call grace—and is transmitted from person to person, and returns to God. It runs a sacred cycle reaching from God to an individual from the individual to his neighbor and back through faith to God. Whoever transmits, however small, a part of that love, helps establish the circuit for the whole “of Christ’s Mystical Body. (Romano Guardini, The Lord). So, from the beginning, our loving God willed that his creatures enter into that eternal divine Circle of Love thereby allowing us to share God’s own life. (Lumen Genntium2)
When we read chapters 14 -17 of St. John’s gospel—Jesus’ Last Supper discourse—Jesus brings his disciples directly into the reality of the world out of which he, himself, eternally lives and to which he calls us. He tells them, “I am inMy Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” (Jn. 14:20) He invites them to reciprocate that divine love by living it: “If a man loves Me, he will keep My word and My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him (Jn.14:23).
It is in our heart where God wants to be indistinguishable from us—God in us and we in God... where we meet God in an I-Thou relationship. To engage in such intimacy is to live heaven on earth.
The quality of our union with God ...then ...rests on what we allow to enter our heart ... And how we choose to live out what we take in—in every “NOW” moment. It is in the context of this interplay that, we are called to turn away fromthose things that prevent us from hearing and loving God more deeply—sin which short-circuits the flow of divine grace in our heart and impedes our movement along the Circle of Love. Conversely by turning toward those things Jesus has taught us, the flow of divine grace continues to flow in us as we move forward toward greater union with God through the Circle of Love.
So, growing in intimate union with God—is about winning the fight for space to enable God to fill our heart with grace. Here, we are in full control. Making our way around the Circle of Love growing our union with God is really hard. It’s not possible to make our way through the Circle smoothly and in an unfettered rhythm day in and day out. How we deal with what we experience everyday will determine our spiritual progress forward or regression within the Circle. We either go forward—albeit at different speeds—or we regress. There is no neutral ground.
In every moment our active loving God is working within and among us to guide, and support us. “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest... (Matt 11:28-30) Think life-giving Sacraments.
What more a life-giving gift than the Holy Eucharist? Can the Father give us more than his Son who incorporates himself fully in the form of bread and wine to enter into our hearts and to be intimate with us every step of the way? Bringing Our Blessed Lady forward to assist us on our way is critical. She was the first to say “yes” to the Father’s will which is what union with God is all about. She is the one whom on Calvary Jesus gave us to be our mother.
Daily prayer and use of sacramentals keep God front and center and continue the rhythm of living our union with Him. The lives of the Saints give us optimal ways of working our way through the Circle. The Catechism gives us the “why” and “wherefores” of why we do what we do. Spiritual reading provides many and varied explanations on getting on successfully in the Circle.
This is what union with God in the Circle of Love is all about. That’s the stuff of the spiritual life... That is what the Circle apostolate is all about. Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever.