TheoCenTriC Stumbling Toward Christ

The Two Become One


The great mystery of love is the union which it realizes between those who love each other, without their dissolution as free subjects. And yet, the two are not only thinking pleasurably of each other, but each receives the other into himself… I am yours without ceasing to be mine and you are mine without losing your freedom, without ceasing to be yours. I am thus ours and you are ours. Strictly speaking neither I nor you are “ours” in the sense of objects owned together. Instead you and I experience “us” as a unity of free subjects, so connected, that it can’t be severed…

We are two in a unity, and we look to each other… You are necessary to me as an autonomous subject, not as a subordinate object. You are necessary for me in order to replace care for myself with care for you, in order to put you in the place of my ego. You become so intimate to me, so much a part of me – I draw you so much into the center of my existence – that you substitute for my ego. You take the place of my ego, you hold the place of the first person in me… Precisely by this you make my happiness complete. It is a substitution of the egos. You have taken the place of my ego, and I have taken the place of your ego in you, by your will, not by my constraint… My self-consciousness is inseparable from yours, from “ours”…

This reciprocal opening is at the same time a mutual belonging and freedom. I can’t exist without living you, and neither can you, without living me. I grow spiritually by living you, and you the same. It is my completion through you and yours through me.

– Dimutru Staniloae, Orthodox Spirituality

Now, having read the above, consider how this relates to your union with your community, your church, your family… and even your God! Consider Paul’s great claim: “I live, and yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”

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By Rich
TheoCenTriC Stumbling Toward Christ

Rev. Rich Vincent

After 24 years of pastoring, I continue to stumble toward Christ, and invite you to do the same. Prayerfully hoping the material on this site will aid you to this end. Grace and peace!