Entering into God's Dance of Joy
by George Maloney
"I COULD BELIEVE ONLY IN A GOD that would know how to dance" Nietzsche declared.1
This phrase suggests to me a God who knows joy. This is a God who is excited about life and who dances to communicate inner dynamism outwardly. It recalls the parable of the prodigal son and the dancing and merriment because the father has refound his lost son. It suggests the exuberant imaging used by Jesus Christ of the eternal feast, the banquet, that is food of fire and light, giving eternal life and love to all who sit at the Father's table.
To enter into God's dance of exuberant joy and fullness of life, we must descend. This descent is a descent into the deepest reaches of our consciousness and our unconscious. It is really an ascent to God who dwells in the secret recesses of our hearts. It is simply growing into greater, expanded consciousness through prayer.
The prayer of the heart begins with the silencing of the thoughts that are clamoring so loudly within us that we cannot hear the word of God speak in the still, silent voice that Elijah heard on the mountaintop.
To pray to God in the inner sanctuary of our heart, with the clearest, purest consciousness of his abiding love and our sincere desire to surrender totally to him by a reformed life of love towards others, we must get rid of a dispersion of inner attention. Love does not grow when we are scattered about in our thoughts, but rather when we are deeply focused and concentrated on the one we love.
1 Thus Spake Zarathustra.
Taken from chapter 5 of Inward Stillness by George A. Maloney, s.j. (Denville, NJ: Dimension Books, Inc., 1976, © copyright George A. Maloney).