Beware of Mirages

A priest from Pennsylvania recently wrote to me about two films which he had purchased and had liked very much. In his kind letter, he included the following quotation:

“You feel you are hedged in; you dream of escape; but beware of mirages. Do not run or fly away in order to get free: rather dig in the narrow place which has been given you; you will find God there and everything. God does not float on your horizon, he sleeps in your substance. Vanity runs, love digs. If you fly away from yourself, your prison will run with you and will close in because of the wind of your flight; if you go deep down into yourself it will disappear in paradise.” -Gustave Thibon

(Gustave Thibon was a prominent and controversial French philosopher with a mystical bent who died in 2001 at the age of 97; though he is considered a luminary of 20th century French Catholic thought, he was a farmer who called himself “a peasant writer.” Thibon was a close friend of Simone Weil who lived for a time on his farm in 1941.)

I liked the quote very much. I wrote the priest a letter in which I shared with him the following statement which I gave at a church in Rochester, New York just two days before his letter arrived:

“God is not beyond the clouds, hiding in heaven. God is on the ground, down in the gutter with us. God is hidden in the endless stream of busy, messy, mundane moments of everyday life, and in the many tragedies that dot the vast landscape of humanity. My faith tells me that God loves me in my brokenness. And that God loves me fully and unconditionally, even in my darkest, most sinful, most unloving moments. God does not demand perfection; God gives love. The essence of faith is trust…trusting in God’s undivided, unmerited love.”


3 Responses to “Beware of Mirages”

  1. 2 aliceny March 13, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    This is THE God to whom I pray and whom I love.

  2. 3 Marlene March 17, 2016 at 11:07 am

    WOW! So powerful, moving, profound and enough to chew on for the rest of my life. Thank you!!!!!!

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