“Holiness consists in enduring God’s glance. It may appear mere passivity to withstand the look of an eye; but everyone knows how much exertion is required when this occurs in an essential encounter. Our glances mostly brush by each other indirectly, or they turn quickly away, or they give themselves not personally but only socially. So too do we constantly flee from God into a distance that is theoretical, rhetorical, sentimental, aesthetic, or, most frequently, pious. Or we flee from him to external works. And yet, the best thing would be to surrender one’s naked heart to the fire of this all-penetrating glance. The heart would then itself have to catch fire, if it were not always artificially dispersing the rays that come to it as through a magnifying glass. Such enduring would be the opposite of a stoic’s hardening his face: it would be yielding, declaring oneself beaten, capitulating, entrusting oneself, casting oneself into him. It would be childlike loving, since for children the glance of the father is not painful: with wide-open eyes they look into his. Little Thérèse—great little Thérèse—could do it. Augustine’s formula on the essence of eternity: videntem videre—‘to look at him who is looking at you.’” (von Balthasar)
If this quote touched you, I would encourage you to take just six minutes to listen to this homily by Fr. Pierre Ingram on how God looks at you. You’ll be blessed.
“He looks like Jesus kneeling down in front of a woman caught in adultery, and it comes like a slow grace, how Jesus handled her critics: He deeply unsettled the comfortable and deeply comforted the unsettled. The woman grabbed by the Pharisees was given what I myself desperately need. Before all the pointing fingers, Jesus looked up at the wounded and rewrote her fate: ‘You’re guilty, but not condemned. You’re busted up, but believed in. You’re broken, but beloved.’
“Whatever you’re caught in, I make you free. Whatever you’re accused of, I hand you pardon. Whatever you’re judged of, I give you release. Whatever binds you, I have broken. All sin and shame and guilt and lack I have made into beauty and abundance.
“Who get over a love like this? In the midst of trials, Jesus guarantees the best trial outcome: you’re guilty, but you get no condemnation. No condemnation for failing everyone, no condemnation for not doing everything, no condemnation for messing up every day. Who gets over a release like this?
“You are Mine and I am yours, and all I have is yours and all you have is Mine. I marry you to the mystery of whole perfection, and I carry all your brokenness to divorce you from all despair.”
“God comes to us not where we should have been if we had made all the right choices in life; not where we could have been if we had taken every opportunity that God has offered us; not where we wish we were if we didn’t have to be in the place where we find ourselves; not where we think we are because our minds are out of sync with our hearts; not where other people think we are or think we ought to be when they are attending to their own agendas. God meets us where we really are.”