If you keep listening to the love, if you keep receiving the love, trusting the love—even with all your limitations, unworthiness, limited intellect, or whatever you feel holds you back—you start to experience within yourself a sense of possibility. Whatever life is inviting you into, you have this sense that it’s okay and, even better, that you can do it! That is the joy of the saints. Now you don’t have to do it by the world’s criteria of success or performance. As Mother Teresa loved to say, “The only real success is faithfulness.” To be faithful to this inner love is in itself the greatest success. It is of itself the possibility. No outer successes are necessary to be happy.
This is what makes the mystics sort of dangerous. It’s not just possibility they experience—but permission. It’s permission to color outside the lines and to be who you really are. It’s not just gay people who have to come out of their closets. We’re all in our closets. They’ve just given us a good metaphor for what we all have to do. We’re all afraid to come out of our various closets. It’s not the need to be outrageous or rebellious. It’s so much better than that. It’s just permission to be that image and likeness of God that you really are. You are unlike any other image or likeness. It is as if God is saying, “I’m expecting you to return to me simply and totally as you really are!”Richard Rohr