Day Two — Thursday

Kneeler 19

Psalm 5

Give ear to my words, O Lord,
give heed to my sighing.

2 Listen to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.

3 O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.

8 Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness,
because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me.

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
So that those who love your name may exult in you.

12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover them with favour as with a shield.

Mystics tell us that when God draws near and acts directly on the soul, the soul is pulled loose from all it has loved in place of God. Psychologically and spiritually we experience the transcendent God as darkness; there is an unavoidable gap between us and the ultimate.

In Christian language, the Gospel makes clear we do not get to God from our human side. Our images of God and traditional doctrines do not give us God. At best, they simply point to divine reality. Our images cannot be equated with God. Indeed, in God's drawing near, it is precisely those images that are abrogated, broken through, transcended.

In Buddhist language, even the notion of imagelessness is an image that must be discarded, as we are handed over into the silent still point at the center of all.

This is a perilous passage for any believer.

Anna Ulanov

St Philip's Anglican Church,
cnr Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602.