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Readings for Reflection: November 2014
from the Committee on Ministry and Counsel


Worshipping in the Light

I find Thomas Kelly’s writings to be quite moving in general, and specifically this reading touches me. His description of the experience of worshipping in the Light helping us to find “new and astonishing responses” to life sounds true to me. I am particularly drawn to his statement “He plucks the world out of our hearts … [and] … hurls the world into our hearts, where we and He together carry it in infinitely tender love.” ~ Ruth Carey

Guidance of life by the Light within is not exhausted as is too frequently supposed, in special leadings toward particular tasks. It begins first of all in a mass revision of our total reaction to the world. Worshipping in the light we become new creatures, making wholly new and astonishing responses to the entire outer setting of life. These responses are not reasoned out. They are, in large measure, spontaneous reactions of felt incompatibility between “the world’s” judgments of value and the Supreme Value we adore deep in the Center. There is a total Instruction as well as specific instructions from the Light within. The dynamic illumination from the deeper level is shed upon the judgments of the surface level, and lo, the “former things are passed away, behold, they are become new.”

Paradoxically, this total Instruction proceeds in two opposing directions at once. We are torn loose from earthly attachments and ambitions – contemptus mundi. And we are quickened to a divine but painful concern for the world – amor mundi. He plucks the world out of our hearts, loosening the chains of attachment. And He hurls the world into our hearts, where we and He together carry it in infinitely tender love."

Thomas R. Kelly, A Testament of Devotion (Harper & Brothers, 1941), “The Light Within,” beginning of section III.

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