heaven now


I love this image of a friend’s garden gate.  It seems mysterious and welcoming and frightening and enticing.  It reminds me of the many scriptural references to opening our heart’s door to God and to the shepherd as the gate rot the sheep.

People sometimes ask me what it was like being a monk and the answer I often give is that it was a life which was free because it was confined. The channeling accomplished by the goes we took made it possible to direct our powers.

But I am now convinced that the repressions of monastic life redirect deadly steam as much as the channeling directs power.  Outside a monastery we all have the opportunity to live lives in which we enter the gate of heaven while on dart.  We do that daily in our prayers.  So my favorite prayer takes on a new meaning if it is not about some post-death cloud -and-harp-filled existence but rather, is about today.  This very day.  Here.  Heaven on earth. Now.
A Prayer of John Donne (1572-1631)

Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening into the house and gate of heaven to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity; in the habitations of thy glory and dominion, world without end.

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