The power of God

Looking back, I see that the topic of power has come up a number of times.  This can be a difficult subject, as sophisticated modern folks often find it hard to think that God’s power might be a reality, and that they might be the conduit for it. 

Here is a bit from Violet Firth (founder of the Guild of the Master Jesus, who wrote under the pen-name Dion Fortune) on the power of God.  This reflection was written in the 1920s in England, and I wouldn’t express everything the way she does.  Most crucially, she fails to point out clearly that God’s power is kenotic (self-emptying).  But maybe you will find something in it:

There are many different aspects under which God can be worshipped, aspects corresponding to  the different forms of the Divine Essence in manifestation, for we know God only in His functions.  We may adore God as Love, or worship him as Wisdom, but there is another aspect that is sometimes forgotten in these days of a refined culture which abhors pain – the aspect of God as Power.

It is because this is so often forgotten that religion is apt to be “feeble, mawkish, and unmanly.” It is only when the Power aspect re-enforces the Wisdom and the Love that the great chord of God is struck, the chord that can overthrow the walls of all the fortified cities of materialism.

We must train ourselves to reverence the great sweeping Power aspect of God, but not to fear it.  We have no need to fear it so long as we keep God’s law.  If we dare to trust ourselves to its tremendous current, we open a channel whereby it can flow through us into the world.  But that channel, once opened, cannot be closed by our hands.  There must be no faltering or turning back if we push out from the shore and give ourselves to be borne along by the rushing river of the Power of God.  That way lies destruction; for the great forces we have invoked, though pure as fire, will shatter the frail bark of our wilfullness if we turn it against the stream of their force. We can only touch the great things of life if we dare invoke the Power of God to come upon us.

But the Wisdom and the Love come equally with the Power, and so we have no need to fear anything save our own weakness and impurity.  If the Power of God came alone, it would overwhelm us, but if by our lives, we have brought into manifestation first the Love and then the Wisdom of God, we may safely invoke the Power, though not otherwise. Power, following upon Love and Wisdom, renders them potent.  Without that Power, they are negative, inert. Love may will and Wisdom may design, but it is the Power of God which is “the author and giver of all good things.”  – from  Mystical Meditations on the Collects (1930), 117-118.


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