94: What is Divine Therapy? Part 2 (cont.)

Photo by Ron Barnett

And I saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband;
and I heard a great voice from the throne saying,
“Behold, the dwelling of God is with men.
He will dwell with them,
and they shall be his people,
and God himself will be with them.”
– Revelation 21:2-3

The Transforming Union is the beginning of a new life. Perhaps we could say it’s the real Christian life. That’s where everybody should be. But there’s a lot of work still to be done even from this perspective of union because the union, of course, is between two people. And the oneness is so great that they each want to be the other or become the other or pour themselves into the other… As one becomes one with God and, hence, one with all creation, one with all other people…at last we’re looking at life in the way that it was created and meant to be seen.
– Thomas Keating, from the Session 93 video

 A Meditation

Heaven, in the gospels and the Apocalypse (and throughout Scripture) is the metaphor that tells us that there is far more here than meets the eye. Beyond and through what we see there is that which we cannot see, and which is, wondrously, not ‘out there’ but right before us and among us: God – …his love, …his mercy, his grace, his healing, his wisdom.

…Heaven. It is not an ending, as we might expect, but a fresh beginning… Heaven is also more, far more. But the ‘more’ is the completion of what is, not an escape from it. It is the wholeness of what we now see in part, not the repudiation of it. The vision of heaven is thus thoroughly practical – it keeps us convinced of the reality of all the acts and words whose good sense is disputed by the age we live in. Heaven is not a purple passage tacked onto the end of the Apocalypse to give a flourish to the rhetoric, but an immersion in the realities of God…in our lives…by using stuff that is in our lives right now – places and people, sights and sounds – the invisible and visible parts of our lives are connected in a fresh way. Heaven is an affirmation and confirmation that the beauties and sanctities of the visible creation – tree and rock, Jesus and Eucharist – are not illusions that trick us into what cynics think of as the naïve, useless, and silly practices of love, hope and faith, but are realities that are in strict correspondence with what has been begun in us and will be completed in us.

…We enter heaven not by escaping what we don’t like, but by the sanctification of the place in which God has placed us… This is not a long (eternal) weekend away from the responsibilities of employment and citizenship, but the intensification and healing of them.

…Heaven in the vision, remember, descends. The consequence is that ‘the dwelling of God is with men.
— Eugene Peterson, Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination


Behold I make all things new.
…Yes, I am coming.
— Revelation 21:5; 22: 20

“Are we willing to let God love us with this much unmerited gratuity?”
— Thomas Keating, “The Pursuit of Happiness,” Heartfulness: Transformation in Christ

To Practice
  • Continue to observe your attitudes about God, yourself, your journey. Can you feel the beginnings of the stirrings of new life?

Additional Resources