Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Do we mean love, when we say love?
Samuel Beckett, poet, novelist, playwright;
he was born in Dublin on this date, 1906;
he received the Nobel for Literature in 1969.
He lived in Paris for 50 years, and was buried
in Montparnasse cemetery.
A very important question for us all, yes? The answer, I think, determines the quality of human life on Earth.
I am very very careful about using the word “love”. I ask myself every time I do, in a letter or email or in conversation, Do I mean it? I live with a very high standard of Love. I have followed a Gospel path for over 40 years. I have accepted that the Judeo-Christian God is essentially defined as Love/Compassion. I believe that, in the Christian Myth, Jesus willingly accepted death because He knew in the very core of his Being that this was the path which alone had integrity, since he felt incarnated with the love of His God. While I don’t agree with the apostle Paul about a lot of things – and I don’t need to; I have as much right to interpret Jesus as he does - I think he got it pretty much right in his terrific soliloquy about Love. [First Letter to the Christians of Corinth, chap 13.]
Love is a very difficult learning curve for most human beings. Why? Because being able to love demands a critical transformation. We must somehow move from our infantile egoistic nature, in which “Me” and the meeting of our needs is at the center, to (a) the knowledge of our own intrinsic value, and (b) the understanding that, as Jesus taught, we become our fully human selves by giving of ourselves generously to others. I think it is impossible truly To Love until we achieve “the freedom of the saints”. What do I mean? I mean that we are not free authentically to love until we grasp that we are unconditionally Beloved as the very heart and given reality of being Human. Then we can give ourselves away and never diminish. I often think that this is the heart of the Gospel.
I don’t know how I came to it. But I know without question that I am Beloved. It has utterly freed me. Perhaps this is the Mystery of what the Gospel calls the working of the Holy Spirit? I believe that it is the essential truth we must all learn. And I believe that the God of Jesus speaks this Truth.
The offering of Love, in any manner, is a sacred gift. I think it important that we be sure that we are offering Love without any inappropriate agendas.