I want to talk to You a little more about “disposition.” I want to share with You some thoughts I’ve been entertaining about how we dispose ourselves in a relationship with You.
First of all, to be in a relationship with You is not really something of our choosing. We are in a relationship with You whether we choose it or not. The “essence of being,” in us, is that of God. We are inextricably tied to God. So, the basis for the relationship exists apart from our will. Yet the recognition and nurturing of the relationship is up to us.
That said, we come next to the reality that we are powerless to do things outside of that relationship that affect its existence. We cannot “shake” the relationship from without, nor can we cultivate it from without. Only from within the relationship (inside of it) can it be nurtured – but not by anything we do but by our disposition toward it – for truly we are powerless here. I can pray, do penance, worship, sing, praise, do charitable deeds and give alms – or, I can do none of that – but it does not affect the reality of the relationship. It’s important that we know that. I could be a murderer, thief and all-around scoundrel and that too would not affect the reality of our relationship. So, if it is given that nothing I do affects the reality of the relationship, what is the effect of what I do?
My answer to that is “disposition.” What I do disposes me to accept, reject, nurture or ignore the relationship. Just as a son/daughter can do nothing to change the reality of their relationship to a parent, so too, within (inside) a relationship their disposition toward a parent either affirms or denies their interest and concern for the relationship. It is our disposition that determines what we do in a relationship. Doing “good” things disposes us to recognize and nurture the relationship. The good things we need to do were exemplified in Your life. God, in a very risky and vulnerable way, showed His disposition toward the relationship through You. To look upon the cross is to behold the full impact of God’s disposition toward His relationship with us.
If we believe in and firmly accept the existence of the relationship we are compelled to do something about it. The faith that comes from recognition and acceptance of the relationship is essential to disposing us toward “works,” but further, it is the “works” that dispose us toward cultivating and nurturing the relationship. If love is to grow from the relationship then we must do the self-transcending things necessary.