The soul’s Copernican revolution

solar_system_large revised2 ‘Contemplation is the soul’s Copernican revolution. Copernicus did not invent a heliocentric universe. He simply discovered what had always been the case. The sun never did revolve around the earth. The revolution was the integrating glimpse of the truth of things that marked a change in how we see the world. To realise that we do not search for God the way we search for fame, fortune, and fulfilment – or for anything else that we are convinced we lack – is the “pearl of great price” (Mt 13:45-46), the realisation that the “Kingdom of God is within you” (Lk 17:21). It signals the beginning of this spiritual revolution. ‘Saint John of the Cross stated it as simply as he could: “The soul’s centre is God.” Indeed God does not revolve around us any more than the sun revolves around us, despite the evidence of the “I.” This Center, however, is not an object like other centres in the middle of something else, like jam or custard in the centre of a doughnut. As St. Bonaventure reminds us, “God is an intelligible sphere whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” To glimpse this, however fleetingly, is to realise that we are and always have been immersed in unfathomable Vastness that is at the same time as familiar and unremarkable as a bar of soap. This is our home.’

 Martin Laird O.S.A. A Sunlit Absence, p9-10.

A sunlit absence

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