Heart and Mind of God
What is the ‘Mind’ of Christ that St. Paul says we Christians should put on? Perhaps the same question, but stated differently would be: What is the ‘Heart’ of Christ Jesus. Since I deem the Scriptures trustworthy; that the experiences of the early church, that are presented in the Gospels, as well as the Epistles, are based on a real person who rose from the dead…. then I feel it is good for me to seek to understand the ‘mind’ and ‘heart’ of the Lord on an ever deeper level.
Jesus says that fear is useless, what is needed is trust. Does that say something about the nature of the inner life of Christ? I know that I am a fearful, anxious and often an angry individual. Frequently these unpleasant experiences can come from places that I don’t understand. Though I can often pinpoint some event that triggers them, though not always of course; such is our human condition. It is I guess a state of being; or perhaps a better way of stating it, it shows my inner state of alienation from God, my-self as we as others.
I have found that making acts of conscious trust, no matter how I experience my inner state, helps to break the vicious cycle of inner fragmentation and isolation. It is a slow healing that has gone on for 65 years and no doubt will continue until the day I die. It is the work of God. Grace is like the rain that falls on a field. The seeds die to an old form of life and slowly grow into something different, deeper, more loving and freer. Trust allows deep healing to occur. It happens by that simple embracing of reality, with all of its joys and sorrows, both inner and outer.
I believe that Chapter 13 of St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians’ shows us what the mind of Christ Jesus is. It shows us on a level we can understand, if perhaps not yet live ourselves… the heart and mind of God. It brings out a profound gentleness, compassion, total trust and a hope in life’s process that I have yet to achieve. However the dawn of such a reality is slowly becoming more of an actuality to me.
I guess on the cross, when Jesus shows deep compassion, mercy and forgiveness for those who betrayed, abandoned, denied, tortured and crucified him, it is in that act which reveals to us the Mind and Heart of the Father, as revealed by Christ Jesus. Which for me is still incomprehensible, a reality that I must ponder and pray over every day.
When I do not at least seek to live out this understanding and openness to the mind and heart of Christ, when I am out of touch with that…. it is then that I need to be careful about how I present my faith, or even use the Scriptures. Inner alienation, fragmentation, fear, anger and anxiety will manifest in how I present the gospel, if I am out of touch with my need of compassion for myself, as well as forgiveness. For we are called to love others as we love ourselves; in fact we are commanded to. Not as easy as it sounds. For the road of self knowledge is not an easy path to trod, but one we are called to embrace. If that love is missing, that what is it we are presenting to others?
What is the new life Christ Jesus is calling us to? Perhaps one thing we are called to let go of. A terrible weight that is a burden to the one carrying it…. as well as those who are subjected to it, is the burden of judging the souls, the inner life of others. We are called to die to that awful burden. We are called to ‘see’, to understand, as well as to experience our own need of the healing love of Christ Jesus our Lord. If we lack self knowledge, or the experience of God’s healing love and embrace, then we have little too offer but an angry self righteous use of Scripture.