By Anthony Bloom
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Extra info for Meditations on a Theme: A Spiritual Journey
Physical dangers first: to accept those who love us possessively, without being inwardly destroyed and leaving them with the responsibility of our perishing, is difficult enough, but to accept the existence of an adversary, of one who denies and rejects us, of him who would fain blot us out of existence, is a very costly act of justice. Yet it must be performed and this can be done only by charity, that charity—• and may I remind you that charity is akin to cherishing, not to grudging almsgiving—which finds ultimate expression, after the Last Supper, in the Garden on the Mount of Olives and in the Gross of Christ.
He knows that wherever the law is applied without mitigation, there is suffering; that under the unbounded domination of the law there is no mercy. It is the law he uses and abuses to entrap his debtors, to corner his victims, the law which, cunningly handled, will justify him when he will send to prison his insolvent debtors, that law whose power he can count on to accumulate his wealth and possessions, ruthlessly, and without mercy. ' He may know too that his life was saved from ruin or bankruptcy, prison or ignominy by an absurd, unaccountable gesture of comradeship, of generosity or pity and that such actions set boundaries to the law of the iniquitous jungle that was his world.
We 29 can see with the eyes of indifference as the passers-by saw Bartimaeus. * We can see with the eyes of hatred when we become horribly clear-sighted but with the perspicacity of the devil, seeing nothing but evil, making a vile caricature of things. And lastly, we may see with the eyes of love, with a pure heart that can see God and his image in people; even in those where his image is dimmed— through layers of appearances and counter evidence, to the true, deep secret self of man. ' We must recognise that we are not conscious of the depth of things, the immensity, the vocation of eternity of the whole world and we can only become aware of this in so far as, by some primordial experience, we are certain that there exists an inner world; and it is through faith that we can stand fast in the certainty that the invisible is real, present and worthy of being sought for, beyond, through and at the very heart of the visible.