Continued from a previous series of posts on the stages of spiritual growth . . . Abiding in love is the fruit of years of spiritual practice. There’s no shortcut to this experience of full union with God in Christ through the Spirit, nor is there any way for you to bring yourself here. It comes to you. You become “a partaker of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1.4) only because you’ve participated all along the way along with the mischief of God at work in you—through all your joys and sorrows. You’ve finally become fully human, alive to love, and therefore a person in whom all the fullness of God abides (Ephesians 3.19).

This doesn’t mean that you will live without suffering or frustration, temptation or even anger. Rather, when you abide in love, you know how to sublimate your reactivity to such things. You can redirect your spirit quickly and re-establish yourself in the current of God’s love.

Gratitude, warmth, and wisdom are the chief characteristics of those whom God has brought to this final stage, a stage, which is a taste of the eternal life that awaits us beyond death. These “saints” are a healing presence to us all.

The end of the series.