Beyond The Pale


Without fail, like a waiting friend, I am gratefully led to experience the wisdom of a saint during my morning ritual reading of Divine Intimacy.  It is in the quiet solitude of the morning, a cup of coffee, and my warmth-seeking Yorkie-poo, Missy, that rounds out the beauty of the moment.  I would like to share the following words of St. John of the Cross:

“It is true that you were created to enjoy, but to enjoy God. However, God is not present to your senses, while your “self” and the things of earth are so close to you.  Hence instead of looking beyond yourself and all creation in order to reach God, instead of making use of creatures to help you rise toward the Creator, you pause and seek your happiness in them.  You pause with an inordinate affection, and for this grain of satisfaction, you blind your heart to earth and become incapable of union with God, the only source of real happiness.  This inordinate desire for pleasure is the thing which turns your desires and affections towards creatures, instead of fixing them on God.  This is the root of every attachment, no matter how slight.”

It is this stream of clarity that helps me grow closer in understanding myself and others – especially when passions seem at odds and choices seem indiscernible.  I find refuge in a sense of re-calibration in my approach towards another’s very human tendency and personal reasoning.  Life is a complicated picture that often distills from its extremes some workable balance and perspective.  The question I pose for St. John of the Cross which I hope to ask over a heavenly cup a coffee with Missy by my side, is God really not present to our senses.  If we are blinded by the Creator’s creation, surely His handiwork would tug at one of our five senses.  Yet God, this omnipresent, all-powerful, invisible Spirit is no doubt out of sight and at first blush – out of mind.   Yet… I feel His call.  I am constantly warmed by His invitation to raise my perspective to an eternal one and see beyond the pale beauty of selfish wants and into His beckoning embrace.  I am convinced I am not alone and therefore have never even feared death itself.  The wisdom of this saint speaks volumes of dying to the things that, in the long run, really don’t matter.  Death to anything may bring insecurity within our visible radar, but the invisible reality is eternal and awaits our every choice.

New Sight

images cross

Invisible, ineffable Beauty,
Gift of everlasting grace,
Endless is Your invitation,
That calls my inner-space.
Supreme is your handiwork,
Mysterious are Your ways,
Countless divine embraces,
Fill my beautiful days.
Yet beyond the pale awaits,
An eternal day of love,
Detachment is my lens to life,
Seeing what vice once deprived me of.

by Chris Clody 10/26/13


4 thoughts on “Beyond The Pale

  1. Boy did I need to hear this. Thank you Chris for sharing the words of John of the Cross and your reflections this morning. What a gift! Have a blessed day!

    • You and me both! John’s detachment perspective is so clean and clear…even I can understand it 😏
      Thanks for your kind words and seize the day! His Peace,C

  2. Pingback: Affection | Lord, Make Me An Instrument of Your Love

  3. Thank you, Chris. I too, look forward to asking the same question. The beauty of God’s world is a touch of the beauty of God.

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