Glancing at gratefulness

It was a late summer's evening in Oxford. I had had dinner with a friend and was unlocking my bicycle, deposited behind the Orthodox Church, in the last light of day. A saying that I had read recently of St Maximus the Confessor was rolling, resonating through my head to the effect that true humility is rooted in recognising that your being is being created, birthed, by God, right now, every now. All existence, your existence is gift, gift meeting gift.

As I rode home, suddenly, everyone was present, as they rolled by, cycling past, captured in their utter, particular, uniqueness. All created anew, right now, at every moment, and given to one another. Gratefulness flowed. My existence was gift, everything was gift, everything was mercy (whose root origin points to the exchange of gifts).

It is the closest that I have come to a 'mystical' experience, and its realness lingered for days afterwards, and now in memory. The truth of it was not to lead me out of the world but drive me deeper into it. Each person is called and deserves to live in the liberating presence of their own giftedness. To find their particular way that responds, is responsibility to the world and in finding it redeem the world. Every obstacle, within or without, to this hallowing liberation is a captivity, and in this and in our release from it, we are all equal.


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