Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Love All the Way

No matter how I may feel, or how distant God may seem to be from my life, I know that I can always find Him, and love Him.

He may seem hidden from my thoughts, my emotions, my psychological experience, my health, but even in this darkness He can be found through my love. Even the experience of the energy of desire may flag, but love always remains possible.

Where is this God who asks for my love?

He is inside the needs and tasks of this day, in the kids and their concerns, in the time Eileen and I have together, in the rhythm of my work and prayer.

When I write, He is here. When I do research, He is here. When my words are blocked or I've reached a dead end or I'm just tired, He is here.

When I go exploring and take photographs, He is here. When I learn new techniques, and use multimedia or the internet, He is here. When I put a lot of effort into a project and it ends up being something useless, He is here.

All day, in the house, He is here. When we eat our food and bump into one another and annoy one another, He is here. When I smile and say, "Thank you" to Eileen, He is here -- and also when I say, "Sorry" or "Excuse me," or something dumb, something I wish I hadn't said. When we pray the Rosary, even though we may all be falling asleep, He is here.

Creative mess. On the floor.
When we watch movies or TV, He is here. When we converse about everything from faith and philosophy to weather to birds to superheroes to silly names to boiled eggs, He is here. When we clean up the messes in the house, He is here. When we trip and fall over them, again and again, He is here.

When I have to just lay down in my bed, alone, in the middle of the day because my body hurts too much, He is here.

In all these moments, I want something, I am drawn by some hope that doesn't die even though I'm often frustrated by not being able to find what I think I need.

When I pray, "Come, Holy Spirit," I am asking Him to manifest Himself; to enrich my awareness of His presence. He calls out and gives Himself through the invitation to love and the longing for love contained in the most ordinary circumstances.

His invitations say, "Love all the way. Do not stop at your own satisfaction or give up because of your frustration. Seek the Source of what attracts you, and -- in affirming the goodness of whatever is given in the circumstances, and sustaining hope beyond all limits -- allow yourself to be embraced by the Source."

This sounds profound, but in practice it's really pretty overwhelming. Often our situation seems dull, repetitive, and fruitless, if not painful or desolate. But even in the best of circumstances, it's not easier to "love all the way" -- the weight our limitations pulls us toward something less, some position that appears for a while to correspond to what we want, but that can't help falling short and eventually taking on the bitter taste of discouragement.

Our hope is Jesus, because He makes it possible for us to love in the way we were created to love, which is to love in union with Him, all the way to the Father.

He sends His Holy Spirit from the Father to transform the smallness of our love, to enlarge our hearts and our loving to His measure, which is beyond all measure.

We must call out to the Holy Spirit, and listen to the silence in which He whispers to us the secrets of Divine Love, and shapes them into the flesh of our daily life.