And Paul, in his teachings to the early Christian communities tried to emphasize the importance of this union through the inner experience. It is this experience which comes from the inner life; a life of prayer and grace. St Paul prays in his letter to the Ephesians (1 vs. 17) “I pray that the father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know Him, so that with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His Power for us who believe, according to the working of His great power……and in chap 3……I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breath and length, and height and depth, and to know the love of the Christ which surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (1 Corinthians 2 vs10)
In his book ‘Saint of the Day’, Fr. Leonard Foley o.f.m.,a Franciscan priest said, ”
“Union with God is the highest possible state that any creature can attain and it is readily attainable if one is single, married, secular, religious or clergy. It is a blissful state amidst any pain, suffering and sorrows inherent in life. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are or even if you are disabled or able. There are no educational requirements for lovers or those who ardently seek union with God except desire, goodwill and charity toward all. God is holy and infinitely desirous of everyone to be robed in that same holiness.
God, you are clothed with light,
As with a garment fair,
And in your holy sight
The saints your beauty wear;
The heav’ns and all therein express
The glory of your holiness.
Give me a robe of light
That I may walk with you:
Bright as the stars are bright,
Pure as their light is pure;
Whose texture sin shall never stain,
But ever undefiled remain.
O Christ, I lift my eyes;
Your love for me I own;
In your great sacrifice
Remains my hope alone;
The robe is mine, my soul to dress,
Of everlasting righteousness.
The above Hymn taken from the “Magnificat” Publication, Edition, May 2003.
The writings of the Apostles to the Gentiles are brought to the attention of the faithful more than any other writer. In the liturgical readings throughout the year Paul’s writings are constantly before us……
Paul’s theology and philosophy are not textbookish. What Paul wrote about, he experienced so much so that he was quite unable to put into words the spiritual experience given to him by God’s Spirit.
Paul often speaks about the heights, depths, width of topics that are beyond his own comprehension. He admits of speaking and writing about a certain wisdom. It is not a wisdom of his times or ours. It is God’s wisdom which is always mysterious and a hidden wisdom. Of this wisdom, “eye has not seen and ear has not heard”, nor has it so much as dawned on humankind what God has prepared for those who love Him. God revealed this wisdom to Paul and us today through the same Spirit because the Spirit scrutinizes all matters, even the deep things of God. Paul tells us: who knows a man’s innermost self but the man’s own spirit within him? Similarly, no one knows what lies at the depths of God but the Spirit of God.” (Fr. Leonard Foley O.F.M.)