Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Beatific Vision, Blindfolded by the Veil

July 19, 2016


Moses, descending Mt. Sinai after
 seeing God's radiance (or "Shekinah")
with his own two eyes

      "My vision of God is dependent upon the condition of my character. My character determines whether or not truth can even be revealed to me. Before I can say, “I saw the Lord,” there must be something in my character that conforms to the likeness of God. Until I am born again and really begin to see the kingdom of God, I only see from the perspective of my own biases. What I need is God’s surgical procedure— His use of external circumstances to bring about internal purification..." 
~from My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers at utmost.org

     So, the Beatific Vision is accessible to us only through the perspective of our own biases, the sum of which make up the condition of our character. So why is Moses' face shining like the sun in the above illustration? While marvelling at the sight of the burning bush atop Mount Sinai, did he come face-to-face with the Author of Creation or was he too small, too cosmically insignificant for that to be possible? No one sees the Face of God and lives (Exodus 33:20). Imagine knowing & loving someone all your life and never once getting a good look at him. Imagine a fragmented series of sense-impressions.

     --A shadow on the wall.
     --A kind fatherly voice, from another room in the house.
     --The sound of footsteps.
     --An eyelash.
     --A fingernail.
     --Steam rising off a cup of coffee.
     --A memory of his anger, from long ago.

    For now, the veil enfolds our minds and our senses but this will not always be the case (1st Corinthians 13:11-13). This Great Divorce even affects our sense of self and other. Because we reside in these physical bodies, our Beatific Vision of God is distorted, fragmented, confused, dark, faint. The Christian saint has closed his eyes underneath the veil because he knows his true spiritual sight is hindered by it. He accepts his temporary blindness because he is anticipating the moment he sees not in part but in full, knows as he is known.

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