Mind-blowing immensity

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One who seeks to comprehend God is like someone who finds himself on a mountain ridge. Imagine a sheer, steep crag, of reddish appearance below, extending into eternity; on top there is this ridge which looks down over a projecting rim into a bottomless chasm. Now imagine what a person would probably experience if he put his foot on the edge of this ridge which overlooks the chasm and found no solid footing nor anything to hold on to. This is what I think the soul experiences when it goes beyond its footing in material things, in its quest for that which has no dimension and which exists from all eternity. From here there is nothing it can take hold of, neither place nor time, neither measure nor anything else; it does not allow our minds to approach. And thus the soul, slipping at every point from what cannot be grasped, becomes dizzy and perplexed and returns once again to what is connatural to it, content now to know merely this about the Transcendent, that it is completely different from the nature of the things that the soul knows. — St. Gregory of Nyssa

Today I was, for whatever reason, overcome by an overwhelming sense of God’s immensity, along with a sense that the unthinkable vastness of our cosmic home is but an inkling of that immensity. As you saw in my opening quote, to give voice to this inner intuition I turned to St. Gregory of Nyssa. He always delivers. But whenever I try to articulate a deep intuition like this, I always feel I am somehow carrying out, to use Thomas Merton’s expressive phrase, “raids on the unspeakable.” As if I am doing violence to something that is better left in silence. So what I will do to minimize my act of violence is share three artistic works that seem to get at what I’ve sensed today: (1) a textual selection from the Liturgy of St. Basil, (2) a 7 minute NASA recording of “cosmic music” and (4) Cynthia Clawson’s rendition of Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (with lyrics below video).

If you have a few minutes, I hope you can allow all three to sweep over you.

How great is our God.

Master, Lord, God, worshipful Father almighty,
it is truly just and right to the majesty of Your holiness
to praise You, to hymn You, to bless You, to worship You,
to give thanks to You, to glorify You, the only true God,
and to offer to You this our spiritual worship
with a contrite heart and a humble spirit.
For You have given us to know Your truth.
Who is worthy to praise Your mighty acts?
Or to make known all Your praises?
Or tell of all Your wonderful deeds at all times?
Master of all things, Lord of heaven and earth,
and of every creature visible and invisible,
You are seated upon the throne of glory and behold the depths.
You are without beginning, invisible, incomprehensible,
beyond words, unchangeable.
You are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who is the great God and Savior of our hope,
the image of Your goodness,
the true seal of revealing in Himself You, the Father.
He is the living Word, the true God, eternal wisdom, life,
sanctification, power, and the true light.
Through Him the Holy Spirit was manifested,
the Spirit of truth, the gift of Sonship, the pledge of our future inheritance,
the first fruits of eternal blessings, the life giving power,
the source of sanctification through whom every
rational and spiritual creature is made capable of worshiping You
and giving You eternal glorification, for all things are subject to You.
For You are praised by the angels, archangels, thrones,
dominions, principalities, authorities, powers,
and the many eyed Cherubim.
Round about You stand the Seraphim, one with six wings
and the other with six wings; with two they cover their faces;
with two they cover their feet; with two they fly,
crying out to one another with unceasing voices and ever-resounding praises…

Let all mortal flesh keep silence
And with fear and trembling stand
Ponder nothing worldly minded
For with blessing in His hand

Christ our God to Earth descendeth
Our full homage to demand

At His feet the six-winged Seraph
Cherubim with watchful eye
Veil their faces to His presence
As with ceaseless voice they cry:

“Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Lord, Most High!”

This entry was posted in Cool.

9 comments on “Mind-blowing immensity

  1. trudymm says:

    Thank you TJNeal, Ph.D., it was a blessing to see your post. The beautiful song shared helped transport my spirit to the spiritual sanctuary of my heart, there it basked in a morning spiritual sunlight of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Along with Holy Blessed Mary, St. Joseph, & all the angels and saints we rejoiced, they do it better, so piggy backing is my style. Verse 2 of the 23rd Psalm: “In green pastures he makes me lie down; to still waters he leads me”, really comes alive with this song. If anything can make me lie down, this song can. So happy to discover the Holy Anaphora section of the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great and the hymn: “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”, translated by Gerard Moultrie. What a treat to have the Holy Spirt personalize it with a prayer poem. Ruminating can greatly enrich our prayer lives.

    🙌St. BTG- Master, Lord, God, worshipful Father almighty,
    🙌Tmm- Supreme, Sublime, Holy & Divine Deity

    🙌St. BTG- It is truly just and right to the majesty of Your holiness
    🙌Tmm- To come before you, He whose greatness, goodness, & glory is oh so boundless

    🙌St. BTG- To praise You, to hymn You, to bless You, to worship You,
    🙌Tmm- Thereby allowing our love to be expanded as you constantly wish to strengthen and renew

    🙌St. BTG- To give thanks to You, to glorify You, the only true God,
    🙌Tmm- The Lord and giver of Life to whom we come before, bowing & surrendering, by word & a confirming head nod

    🙌St. BTG- And to offer to You this our spiritual worship with a contrite heart and a humble spirit.
    🙌Tmm- A spiritual machination in action bringing glory in accordance with your will as You proclaim to those who want to hear it

    🙌St. BTG- For You have given us to know Your truth. Who is worthy to praise Your mighty acts?
    🙌Tmm- A God who withholds from none, not one , a wealth of true & holy spiritual facts

    🙌St. BTG- Or to make known all Your praises? Or tell of all Your wonderful deeds at all times?
    🙌Tmm- Such that rejoices our spirit as it soars heavenly, steadily & happily it climbs

    🙌St. BTG- Master of all things, Lord of heaven & earth,
    🙌Tmm- Nothing or no one can compare in the least with your inestimable worth

    🙌St. BTG- And of every creature visible and invisible,
    🙌Tmm- You alone as Creator are sublime, and the most valuable

    🙌St. BTG- You are seated upon the throne of glory and behold the depths. You are without beginning, invisible, incomprehensible,
    🙌St. BTG- Beyond words, the same yesterday, today and forever, unchangeable.

    🙌St. BTG- You are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the great God and Savior of our hope,
    🙌Tmm-The most High, source of all graces that helps us persevere and valiantly cope

    🙌St. BTG- The image of Your goodness,
    🙌Tmm- That is truly endless

    🙌St. BTG- The true seal of revealing in Himself You, the Father. He is the living Word, the true God, eternal wisdom, life,
    🙌Tmm- The spotless Lamb who blood was shed to save us from eternal strife

    🙌St. BTG- Sanctification, power, and the true light. Through Him the Holy Spirit was manifested,
    🙌Tmm- Poured out upon us, sinners in whom he willingly & heavily invested

    🙌St. BTG- The Spirit of truth, the gift of Sonship, the pledge of our future inheritance,
    🙌Tmm- All ours, the only requirement is sincere & heartfelt repentance

    🙌St. BTG- The first fruits of eternal blessings, the life giving power,
    🙌Tmm- Clothing us advantageously every second and minute of every living hour

    🙌St. BTG- The source of sanctification through whom every rational and spiritual creature is made capable of worshiping You
    🙌Tmm- May all take advantage of this grace, that it might be the gift of “the many” and not “the few”

    🙌St. BTG- And giving You eternal glorification, for all things are subject to You.
    🙌Tmm- He who alone is great, and makes all things new

    🙌St. BTG- For You are praised by the angels, archangels, thrones,dominions, principalities, authorities, powers,and the many eyed Cherubim.
    🙌Tmm- Yes there is no other so deserving, truly you are the one and only Great “I Am” whose light never grows dim

    🙌St. BTG- Round about You stand the Seraphim, one with six wings and the other with six wings;
    🙌Tmm- Glorifying is the harmonious melody without end that they unhesitatingly and continually in the heaven sings

    🙌St. BTG- With two they cover their faces; with two they cover their feet; with two they fly,
    🙌Tmm- Blissfully journeying as their wings take them onward so high, so high

    🙌St. BTG- Crying out to one another with unceasing voices and ever-resounding praises…
    🙌Tmm- If we were actual witnesses, mind blowing it would be as it no doubt intrigues & amazes

    🙌GM- Let all mortal flesh keep silence And with fear and trembling stand
    🙌GM- Ponder nothing worldly minded For with blessing in His hand

    🙌GM- Christ our God to Earth descendeth Our full homage to demand
    🙌Tmm-Working all for our good in order that we reach the heavenly kingdom for all eternity where we hope to one day spiritually land

    🙌GM- King of kings, yet born of Mary, As of old on earth He stood,
    🙌Tmm- Triumphantly, like only the Son of God could

    🙌GM- Lord of lords, in human vesture, In the body and the blood;
    🙌Tmm- Whose spirit and saving power would serve & cover the whole world in a flood

    🙌GM- He will give to all the faithful His own self for heavenly food.
    🙌Tmm- A Sacrament that replenishes strength & nourishes receptive souls, every weary spirit it can without fail gently soothe

    🙌GM- Rank on rank the host of heaven Spreads its vanguard on the way,
    🙌GM- As the Light of light descendeth From the realms of endless day,

    🙌GM- Comes the powers of hell to vanquish As the darkness clears away.
    🙌Tmm- Subject to Jesus, defeated and inept, by His command at His feet they humbly lay

    🙌GM- At His feet the six-winged Seraph Cherubim with watchful eye
    🙌GM- Veil their faces to His presence As with ceaseless voice they cry:

    🙌GM- “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Lord, Most High!”
    🙌Tmm- Precious & Glorious God inhabit our praises, for we worship, adore, & want to love you with all our might, uttering without end a joyful sigh.

    There will B times when we’ll get ourselves in a big mess
    Da remedy is 2 repent, waste no time in going 2 confess
    Jesus will not spurn a contrite and humble heart
    Where we leave off, now cleansed we get a fresh start
    \😇/
    |
    / \ http://gigapostolate.weebly.com/ tmm/PTL

  2. lindaricke says:

    Have you ever read “The Sparrow” by Mary Doria Russel? This post reminded me of the book. I’d love your thoughts if you are familiar with this work of science fiction that my Spiritual Direction instructor required us to read for my Maters program in Spiritual Direction at the Aquinas Institute of Theology. Great post.

  3. nos. says:

    Tmm, thanks for the piggyback prose,all glory and honor, how could it be otherwise…

    • trudymm says:

      URWC nos,
      May the blessings of God forever hem you in from every side
      In this life strengthening your ability to every wave successfully ride
      As you continue in Him to deeply abide

  4. nos says:

    Thomas, have you heard from our friend zzz Dismas D. if so say hi..P.B.W.Y.A.A.

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