Your names are written in heaven
The disciples come back from mission pumped!! They have been sharing peace, curing the sick and proclaiming the kingdom. But the real trophy is that in Jesus’ name even the demons submit to them. They are winning at spiritual warfare and are exhilarated.
Jesus tempers their exuberance reminding them that having seen Satan fall like lightning from heaven, it is there that their names are now written.
Charismatic gifts like deliverance and healing gain incredible attention and interest but their sensational power may cause us to overlook what is of greater importance: our identity, our names, have been written into God’s identity through Christ. By baptism we become children of God in a new way and with a new name: Christian.
When God revealed his name to Moses at the burning bush saying, “I AM WHO I AM” God was saying ‘my name is existence.’ And because I exist, you exist.
There is a subtle passage hidden in our existence, an intuition that our little existence is woven into the eternal existence of God. The gradual purification of our senses, affections and intellect, which occurs in contemplative prayer, prepares us to experience a union that God infuses in us as a gift of the Spirit. This union is not based on our efforts and occurs constantly. But our faculties have become so noisy that we fail to notice it.
Going on mission, sharing peace, curing the sick and casting out demons can really boost a disciple’s self-esteem. As disciples our self-esteem comes from what we do for God, but this must be balanced with soul-esteem. Soul esteem comes from what God does for us. One of the strongest supports for vocational maturity is deepening interior silence because in prayerful silence we begin to experience that our little desperate existence is safely woven into God: our names are written in heaven and that heaven dwells within us on earth.
The weight of this heaven within us is greater than our weakness, our boasting, and our conflicts. This heaven within us is the source of the peace that goes to rest on others without being diminished and returns to us when not accepted. This peace gives us joy under all circumstances and the whole world is ripe for it.
By Mark Blom, OMI – Vocation Director OMI Lacombe Canada Province
Feel free to contact Fr. Mark for advice about discernment and vocation direction. He can meet with you by phone to conduct a short vocation assessment to help you find your way. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for an appointment.