In his book, Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, Fr. Stephen Freeman seeks to awaken us to the Reality of God’s living and active presence in our lives. God is not confined in a heaven distanced from our present existence or only found at the end of time, but is truly transformingly present in the here and now. We simply must open our eyes. The Easter study covers six weeks.
The presence and love of the Word had called them into being; inevitably, therefore when they lost the knowledge of God, they lost existence with it
The human problem is our lack of perception of God as a living and active presence in our lives. In his book, Fr. Freeman hopes to open our eyes more fully to this Reality and to lead us into a deeper communion with the One who Is.
We perceive heaven as a place up there, and God is found upstairs in the second storey. God’s presence is what we find only once we have passed through this life. Revelation and eschatology are only about the future upstairs.
The awareness of a one-storey universe with the communion of saints begins with the Incarnation. In the Incarnation, the temporal and the eternal are joined together in a common communion.
For we do not live in a world of mere things, disconnected and without reference to one another and to God. Creation exists with the capacity to reveal God. Rom. 1:20
The recovery of the immediacy of God in our storey is the recovery of a thick Christianity of holy days, feasts and fasts, religious imagery, and sacraments.
The question that Fr. Freeman gives to us is whether our “Christian faith” truly makes a difference in us. If you stepped away from the Church and your faith would you be the same person? Is God truly present in your life?
In this one-storey universe, everything becomes a doorway and a window and a means of participation in the depths of the divine reality.
We find our end, not in a future event, but in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the end.
We can see and hear better when we use tools – telescopes, microphones, and other instruments – that allow us to perceive that which is beyond our normal capabilities. The eye of the soul needs similar instruments of perception.
A Christ-centered reading of Scripture is a mark of a one-storey universe. Only when Christ is near to us, and not banished upstairs, can he show us that whole of the Scriptures speak of him.
For he who loves his enemies loves his neighbor perfectly and loves God perfectly, being conformed to the Spirit of the Savior-God Who stretched out His arms on the Cross and embraced all, friends and enemies alike, those far from Him and those near to Him, those who know Him…
These practices are those disciplines that train our eyes to see and ears to hear the Divine Reality which is always present with us. Our faith is not an abstraction but the very reality in which we live, and move, and have our being.