Thomas Keating, Invitation to Love: The Way of Christian Contemplation. New York: Continuum, 1995. 151 pages
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Chapter 16. The Transforming Union
In the transforming union we live in the world but are aware of continuous union with God. Emotional swings disappear; though we still have emotions, we use them constructively. We are no longer attracted to sin. "Freedom from the false self and emotional domination is complete."
The Desert Fathers called this experience apatheia, but it is not indifference. "It is rather a tremendous concern for everything that is, but without the emotional involvement characteristic of the false self. We are free to devote ourselves to the needs of others without becoming unduly absorbed in their emotional pain. . . present to people at the deepest level, [perceiving] the presence of Christ suffering in them."
The love or energy of the Divine can now manifest itself in everything we do, even our most modest activities. "External and internal realities are unified because all are equally rooted in God." We become spiritual transmitters of the divine presence. We have a non-possessive attitude toward everything. We can more patiently accept trials. We appreciate nature more. We are interested in serving without compensation and have no desire for domination.
"Transforming union is the goal of the first part of the Christian spiritual journey. Despite its rarity, it should be regarded as the normal Christian life."