Making Love With the Divine

Ronald Rolheiser
January 23, 2022
Reproduced with Permission

Kabir, a fifteenth-century Hindu mystic, writes:

What you call 'salvation' belongs to the time before death.
If you don't break your ropes while you're alive,
do you think
ghosts will do it after? ....

What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment in the City of Death.
If you make love with the divine now, in the next life you will have
the face of satisfied desire.

To make love with the divine . I suspect most of us will picture that as a warm, privatized, affective intimacy, the way we imagine romantic love, except here the other partner is God. Indeed, Christian mystical literature abounds with images of this kind, as does the Gospel of John. There's nothing wrong with that, except that such a conception is over-idealized and over-privatized. Making love with the divine, if Jesus is to be believed, is something more assessable and more communal than our affective image of intimacy.

How do we make love with the divine in this life? I have always taught that there are four non-negotiables to Christian discipleship: moral fidelity in our private lives, a commitment to social justice, some involvement within ecclesial community, and a mellow, gracious heart . We make love to the divine by living out these in our lives.

To make this more assessable, let me suggest that making love with the divine in this life asks ten things of us.

The prophet Micah puts all of this succinctly: act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly.