Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, May 14, 2008
All I wanted was just what everybody else wants,
you know, to be loved.
- Rita Hayworth, actress, who died on this day
of the complications of Alzheimer’s, 1987
Ain’t it the truth. (As some actor used to say, repetitively. Who was that?? Was it the Cowardly Lion??) If I had to say what was the one thing that lies at the base of all human desire, it is what Rita has said.
I’ve just “retired” from 40 years in full-time ministry. All that time, I think I had a very healthy criterion for judging the “success” of that ministry. I said, to myself, that if I had helped one person to see a glorious, loving, compassionate, non-judgmental God Who was with us every step of the way, incarnated within our own glorious human being, then I had “succeeded”. And I know that I have. My correspondence over 40 years proves it.
The other thing I have said through over 40 years of ministry is, “What is Love?” Jesus called us to “Love one another as I have loved you”. Learning how to love is the core truth of becoming human. We may be able to learn it other ways, but we can certainly learn it authentically from Jesus. So we have to “know” Him, understand how He loved, and seek with every fibre of our being to emulate Him.
Yes, we want to be loved. But St. Francis reminds us, “It is better to love than to be loved”. True. But unless we know that we are loved, loving can be difficult.
I know, by some grace, that I am loved. At the core, by God. And it has been confirmed, I am glad to say, in my life. So, I never falter. I may fail, may blow it, but that has never pushed me over into despair; the bottom line is, God loves me. It is out of that absolute truth (the only one I recognize) that I judge myself.
You are loved by the Heart of All Being. Believe it. Live by it.