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THE GROANS THAT LIFT OUR BEINGS

THE GROANS THAT LIFT OUR BEINGS

“The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed”, 1 said Paul.
 
And he continues to say that the creation hurts with an additional weight of the meaninglessness (or “vanity”) that was put over it so it can be liberated from the bondage of decay. And he states that the creation groans and moans in pain right up to the present time; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit in us.
 
So, according to Paul, the more we are and live in the Spirit, the more we hear the creation moaning, and the more we understand that the creation eagerly waits for its own liberation.
 
Yes, liberation from this cycle of death imposed with nastiness, whose cycle we human beings are the agents of pain and vanity against other creatures, when our actions extinguish them.
 
According to Hosea, our mere existence in disharmony with God, ourselves, our neighbors and the creation, is enough to weaken the energy of the existence of all living things around us. He also says that because of the sin of humans against other humans, even fishes, birds and trees were dying around him.

In fact, Paul says that we groan and suffer pain in spite of being the firstfruits of the Spirit among the humans, that is, despite being the ones who look at the universe as having the meaning of God’s love.
 
Paul talks about some human pains in his letter to the Romans. First, he talks about the essential pain and the basic psychosis of all humans (in Romans 7, if we follow an existential logic). Then he releases us from it by saying that in Christ all the condemnation from the Law ceased, and we are now children and heirs of God’s promises because God Himself has reconciled with us—the universal “prodigal sons” (lost children). This is so because we were already welcomed and hugged; a ring was put on our finger and sandals on our feet, and orders were given that the celebration begin (see Romans 8 and Luke 15).


 
However, our liberation from that essential groan which now is replaced by the “loud cry” which calls God “Abba”, Daddy, does not exempt us from going through many sufferings in which we should learn to rejoice, because in all of them two things are happening. The first is a process that makes suffering the entrance door to perseverance, experience, hope and consequently an abundant pouring out of the Holy Spirit in us as certainty, hope and comfort (see Romans 5:1-5). The second one has to do with a conspiratorial experience that starts to happen for our own sake, even in suffering. This experience comes from the person being so certain of God’s Grace in everything and so absorbed into God’s love and gratitude that the whole universe becomes a fertilizer that makes the best in that person blossom (see Romans 8).
 
“In all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” 2
 
According to Paul, those loud cries are mixed with the Spirit’s, who intercedes for us since we do not even know what to pray or ask for in every situation of life.

Therefore, from the groaners who groan along with the existence and the creation’s groans, the Groan of groans is triggered off—the Groan of the Spirit, searching God’s depths, and, according to his Sublime Will, interceding for us, in our victorious and glorious weakness.
 
It is impossible for a fallen world not to be made of cries. Thousands of souls have heard these cries over the millenniums. From earliest time, anonyms have heard the cries, and so have famous people. Among the well known are Siddhartha (the Buda), Confucius, Socrates and many, many others.

Among many others, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel also heard such cries. They not only heard and felt the creation cries, but also received from God the hope of Redemption, which was not revealed to others.

All the ones who heard the creation’s cries without receiving the revelations of Hope in Christ only heard them and felt the pain, which almost always led them to conceive salvation as resignation. Siddhartha is the best example.

In Jesus, however, salvation is not “resignation”, it is healing; it is re-building; it is fullness. It is feast, joy; it is a dive into the I AM. And the I AM is love!

In this way, Paul silences the cry also as discomfort for the ones who are the firstfruits of the Spirit and puts it at the service of hope and consolation.

He says that because of these cries the soul looks beyond, into eternity, and is saved in the hope of what cannot be seen—if you could see what you hope for, it would no longer be hope, but the materialization of absolute salvation itself.
 
It is from this existentially pacified look (see Romans 7 and 8) which transforms cries into a growing process (see Romans 5) and cries out the universal cries (see Romans 8) without becoming a victim of theirs—because it is a look that sees beyond through hope—that Paul says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

With this question, Paul teaches us that in this life, what is “against us” is not pain, hardship, persecution, affliction, hunger, nakedness or sword. What is against us is what we do with the consciousness of God’s love that was given to us through the Gospel. What really matters is not whether or not I am spared hardships, but if I am free from fear, guilty, the condemnation phobia, the terror of being accused, and all things which can really prevent us from experiencing God’s love as a benefit to existence (see Romans 8).

Nothing can separate us from God’s love; however, a bitter and hopeless vision of existence can prevent us from enjoying the safety that comes from the assurance of the indestructibleness and the inseparability of God’s love for us and for every little one in this world—especially those who carry the firstfruits of the Spirit.
 
In Grace, every cry becomes a song of redemption!

In Him,

Caio
 
Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro – 2004
_____________________________
 
From the original: “OS GEMIDOS QUE ELEVAM O SER”
Translated by Sara Machado – Massachussets, USA
Revised by F. R. Castelo Branco | May 2007
1 Romans 8:19 (NIV)
2 Romans 8:28 (NIV)