The Experiences of the Sanctuary of Our Soul
The “Body of Christ” described by St. Paul can also be compared to a mosaic comprised of many small, broken chards of multicolored glass. Each Chard refracts & reflects the “Light of Christ”, differently. Each chard reflects a tiny sliver of the “Spectrum of the Light of Christ”. Individually, they are insignificant. Collectively, they display the magnificent majesty of Jesus Christ. Each chard of different shape & function is valued the same by God. That’s the Cosmic Beauty & Mystery of the “Body of Christ”.
St. Paul realized that he did not deserve to be chosen as the “Disciple to the Gentiles”. In fact, he was on his way to Damascus to arrest more Christians to be killed, when he had his conversion experience. That experience convinced Paul that humanity does not do anything or cannot do anything to earn God’s Love. The Redemptive Cross was sufficient for humanity’s reconciliation with God. We don’t earn God’s Love by keeping commandments, doing good deeds, or knowing Scripture God already loves us “As Is”.
We will keep commandments, do good deeds, and adhere to the Word of God in the process of loving God and others. As St. Paul wrote, “And the greatest of these is Love”. As the Beatles sang, “All you need is Love. Love is all you need.” As Christ said, “By this, shall all men know that you are my disciple, if you love one another, as I have loved you. That’s a tougher standard than “Keeping”, “Doing”, and “Knowing”.
St. Paul also realized that Christ made no distinction between Himself and believers in Him. (“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute ME.”) Saul never met Christ. Saul never persecuted Christ. Saul persecuted believers in Christ. The “Body of Christ” is comprised of many different members who all believe that Christ is their “Personal Savior” and that Christ is the “Head” of the Body. The life-blood of the “Body of Christ” is he gift of grace that flows from Christ to and through each member to every other member and back to God, by the mutual circulation of Love. That’s the Pascal Mystery of God’s reconciled relationship with humanity.
That reconciled relationship is experienced at a level above “Doing” and “Knowing”. It is experienced by “Being” in communion with the Love of God. It’s the awesome awareness of the presence of God within us. It requires the Humility of the creature to the Creator, the Gratitude of the sinner to the Savior, the Repentance “To create in me a new clean heart”, and the Trust that God is sovereign overall things. Then, the New Covenant of God’s reconciled relationship with humanity is born again in the believing members of the “Body of Christ”, as children of God and heirs to Heaven.
The spiritual experience of the love relationship with God exists on a Mystical Level. It defies the finite limitations of language, logic, or analysis. It’s an indescribable glimpse of the power & wisdom of the Majestic Creator, the mercy & forgiveness of the Loving Redeemer, and the peace & joy of the Holy Spirit.
As such, there is an intrinsic, systemic, life-changing focus in the member of the “Body of Christ”. The member WANTS to love God and each other, above all else. Then, the dross of Pride, Lust, Greed, Anger, etc., which fester in the soft underbelly of our humanity, melts away. The temptations of the Powers & Principalities have the allure of cheap perfume. Satan’s attempts to use compromise & rationalization to dilute our relationship with God are recognized as illusions, and not the solutions they promise to be.
This internal, systemic life-changing Mystical Experience of a loving relationship with God serves the same purpose as the Scriptural external weapons of a helmet, breastplate, shield & sword. Perhaps, the communal power of the loving communion with God, by the members of the “Body of Christ”, is more than sufficient strength not to turn our face from God. Rather, “Like the deer who pants for the flowing stream”, our thirst for the Loving God is an overwhelming experience quenched only by loving God and others. It’s a State of “Being”.