You have heard that it was said: Do not commit adultery. But I tell you this: anyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent, has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
So, if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away! It is much better for you to lose a part of your body, than to have your whole body thrown into hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is better for you to lose a part of your body, than to have your whole body thrown into hell.
It was also said: Anyone who divorces his wife, must give her a written notice of divorce. But what I tell you is this: if a man divorces his wife, except in the case of unlawful union, he causes her to commit adultery. And the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
It is a remarkable fact that, if we compare the Bible and our own lives, it seems that God gradually tempers or tones down his approaches to us—so much so that we have the impression that what he really wants in the end is a simple heart to heart encounter…
In the Bible, for example, he launches his dealings with his people Israel with lightning and thunder on Mt. Sinai (Ex 19:16-19). Four centuries later, on this same Mt. Sinai the prophet Elijah encounters God as Moses encountered him. But the text insists that this time God is not in anything showy (wild wind, earthquake, fire) but in the murmur of a gentle breeze. And, when God finally comes in person on the Mount of Beatitudes, it is as the humble carpenter of Nazareth that he presents himself.
Something similar happens in our own lives. Often enough dramatic events bring us to encounter God (death of a loved one, broken romance, illness, etc.). Then, once God has our attention, things quiet down to inner consolations and desolations. This period is followed by a training in dark faith. And finally comes the period of uninterrupted intimacy through the mystical awareness that we are always in God’s arms, for “in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
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