Naked before God
Through the shame of the nakedness of Christ on the Cross, we are restored to and brought beyond the glories of the innocence of the nakedness of Adam.
Cast away from yourselves the garment of worldliness, with all its many countless varieties of adorned gems and precious stones. For though this garment is comfortable and pleasing to the flesh, and smells of fine perfume to the senses, it is in fact a garment of perversity, of falsehood and darkness. Cast off this wretched garment before it is too late! Do not say to your soul: “it can wait until tomorrow”; for anyone who says this, is uttering a curse against God and is exploiting and testing His merciful patience. Do you not know that this beloved garment of yours smells of the feces of Satan? Do you not know that the gems of material luxuries and the precious stones of wealth and comfort that adorn this garment, are actually naught else but the feces of Satan, disguised through his deception as though they were precious? If you cannot sense this, that the garment you cling to is but a filthy rag, then you possess not the True Wisdom that comes through faith in God above; but rather you possess the blind false wisdom that comes through distrust and disbelief in God; therefore possessing instead the foolishness of the devils.
Decide then my friend, will you keep comfortable now by continuing to wear the garment of worldliness, and thus go to hell to join the devils who hate you? Or shall you pray to God for mercy; ask for His forgiveness, and the gift of faith in Him; whilst casting from yourself the garment of worldliness, the garment of damnation; so as to go to heaven to unite eternally with a God who is madly in love with you? The choice is yours o soul, God has given you a will that is capable of choosing freely. You can choose comforts now; pleasures, lusts and indulgence in the flesh: and thus burn eternally in the excruciating fires of hell. Or rather dear soul, you can choose discomforts now; hardships, purity and moderation in all things except love; and thus delight eternally in the blissful feasts of heaven.
If you cast away your garment, the garment of worldliness, and join Christ in His nakedness on the Cross; Christ Jesus shall say unto you: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Lk 23:43b). This does not mean that today you will die (though you may indeed), but what it means is that if you choose to be naked of every attachment to the pleasures of the world, (including the delights of earthly relationships), then today you shall be clothed in the Robe of Salvation. That invisible robe seen only with the eyes of faith, which enriches one with a share in the fullness of the inheritance of Christ; an eternal and everlasting inheritance which He has won for you from the Heavenly Father. Indeed this Robe is the light and glory of the Resurrection; and in it you shall shine like the sun, as all demons shall flee from you. Whilst you shall also attract the attention of God who shall take delight to dwell in you.
O but how one must decide each and every day to strip bare in order to be naked before God in perfect humility; because the Robe of Salvation can so easily be stained many times daily, at least seven, since as it is written: even the just man sins seven times daily (Prov 24:16). Cast therefore the Robe of Salvation before the Cross, the Throne of the Lamb, and let it be washed in the Blood of He who was slain. For of such souls that are pleasing to the Lord it is written: “They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev 14:c). Do this, the daily washing of your Robe, by daily repentance and constant surrender to God, and you will be secure in God’s love, and He shall increase in you. Yet do not seek to clothe yourself, for this Robe cannot be produced or put on by human hands, but only by the Divine. And furthermore, do not ask to be clothed in this Robe, since its Might and Glory are beyond that which can be asked; and regardless, there is a more perfect way, it is the way of giving without wanting to receive, and such a method cannot be done if one petitions God. For though there is indeed room for petitions in the spiritual life, this perfectly applies to petitions for the sake of one neighbors, not for oneself. If ever one does petition God for the sake of himself, the action he does is good, yet imperfect. We know this truth because it is written: “Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” (Mt 6: 25, 33). In other words, concern yourself with everyone’s needs but yourself, for God shall take care of you; and likewise, concern yourself with the duties of the Kingdom, that of living in God’s Will, and he shall take care of you. Give of yourself until it hurts and then keep giving (Bl. Mother Teresa) for the sake of the Kingdom, and He shall take care of you. It is often a temptation to pray for one’s own needs, since often praying for oneself is an act of self-love. The perfect way therefore is to pray against oneself; by praying to be crucified in order to be consumed for love of Him, or in other words, to pray for graces for oneself, purely for the sake of love of God, His Glory and the salvation of souls. In this way God remains the focus of your prayer, and not yourself.
Now once you have resolved to not ask God for anything for yourself, desiring to give all to him in the contentment of the surrender of nakedness; then you can exclaim in sincerity of heart these powerful words to your Creator: “Here I am Lord, I am naked before Thee”. And He who clothes the hills with grass and the mountains with snow shall say unto you: “Let me clothe thee my little child, for thou hast cast off the Robe of Salvation, the Robe of Great Worth which I have given thee. So take therefore this new Robe of Salvation, enriched through the deeper sanctification of its last washing in my Son’s Blood. Thou once wore the Robe of Great Worth, but now today, because of the humility of thy nakedness, and the likeness thou bare to my Son who died naked for thee, I shall clothe thee in the Robe of Greater Worth.” And this your Creator shall do for you daily; taking you from glory to glory if you so choose dear soul, to not be clothed in the comforts and honors of this world; but in the discomforts and shame of Christ’s nakedness.
The choice is yours. Be rich and hollow today, and woefully impoverished forevermore; or be poor and glad today, and taste richness forevermore. And furthermore, if you do choose to be richer today, know that you choose to be made even more woefully impoverished forevermore, and for all eternity shall you starve. However if you choose to be poorer today, know that you choose to be made even more wealthy forevermore; and you shall indeed taste in greater intensity, according to the measure of your hunger, the endless delights of the Celestial Food of God’s Will; that Eternal Bread which is Joy, Peace, Mercy and Love itself. For as it is written: “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.” (Lk 1:53).
|Christ Gloriously Rose from the Dead in the Innocence of Nakedness|