I came across a very full short statement by Rowan Williams, bishop, poet and theologian: “It should be a rather exhilarating thought that the moment of creation is now—that if by some unthinkable accident, God’s attention slipped, we wouldn’t be here. It means that within every circumstance, every object, every person, God’s action is going on, a sort of white heat at the center of everything. It means that everyone of us is already in a relationship with God before we’ve ever thought about it. It means that every object or person we encounter is in a relationship with God before they’re in a relationship of any kind with us. And if that doesn’t make us approach the world and other people with reverence and amazement, I don’t know what will.”
It is God’s love that holds the universe together. Most of us live in a kind of secular mode where God is somehow distant, and detached: a God in the heavens, a God who created the world and then let it go on its own. There lingers the idea that we can observe the world objectively and analyze it inanimate part by inanimate part. Yet science has moved beyond that. Instead of a creation that occurred by divine fiat so many billion years ago, it is now.
It is love that holds it all together: you, me, everyone and everything. If God stopped loving, it would not be. Each of us in our self-important world would cease. We are all held in that love.
Each of us is in a relationship with God before we ever acknowledge it. It is not some one event. It is always. Each person we meet is in a God relationship before we ever meet. When we encounter each other, God is already working within that relationship.
It is we who may live as if, in a kind of egocentric fantasy, detached from God. If that were true, we would not exist.
To draw from another source from the 14th century, Lady Julian of Norwich, God is and always has been “Oneing” Us to himself. God knits us to himself. God is always loving us. In God Oneing us to himself, he is Oneing us to each other so that we are already one with each other.
In the gospel of John, Christ prays that we may all be one and “that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.” Christ’s prayer is not a wish, a hope, as is a fiat, a declaration that we are all in God and all One-ed together.
Charles Preble, OblSB