In a book club to which I belong, we are reading a book titled, Jesus Today, A Spirituality of Radical Freedom. The author is Albert Nolan. The book examines the spirituality of Jesus and its mystic connection. We read often of Jesus spending time in prayer especially in the gospel of Luke. When we hear the word mystic, we might thing of unusual people who experienced visions and had deep prayer lives but we should not be afraid of this word. Karl Rahner, a noted theologian, indicated that unless we all become mystics, Christianity will disappear.
According to Nolan, “The aim and purpose of mysticism is union with God, a oneness with the divine that is complete and total.” Is that not what we desire in our spiritual journey? We know that this completeness is not realized until we move from death to a new experience of resurrected life; yet we desire a oneness with God in the here and now.
Jesus, spent time with the Father, his Abba, in prayer where being the Son of God, he was able to experience this full unity with the Abba. From this unity he spent time in healing and teaching bringing salvation to the world through his death and resurrection.
What might prevent us from moving toward this unity with God? Nolan tells us that we must learn the art of detachment. There are many things that attract us in our daily lives and yet we can learn to be detached from them in order to experience unity with God. I found the following statement by Nolan helpful. “Trusting God, as Jesus did, does not mean clinging to God; it means letting go of everything so as to surrender ourselves and our lives to God. There is a difference between attachment and surrender. In the end we must become detached from God too. We must let go of God in order to jump into the embrace of a loving Father whom we can trust implicitly. We don’t need to hold on tightly, because we will be held—like a child in the arms of its parents.”
We need to let God be God and to humbly accept his love for us trusting God completely. Letting go of attachment and control is difficult. Like Jesus, we need time in prayer simply sitting quietly in the presence of God listening to God’s voice in our hearts. We need to learn to trust.