33rd Sunday Reflection
Do I have love in my heart, have I ever absolutely loved, do I even know what it means to genuinely love? How much of what I think or say about love should rather be classified as self-interest and even selfishness? Does the evidence of my life give witness to love?
Each one of us was once young, eternal, invincible; oh, the wonderful beauty and the brashness of youth that so confidently begins knowing not that it does not know. As we become more introspective, perhaps just growing old and having to face our own mortality, these questions of our core being become more important and perhaps even paramount. As I stand before the Pantocrator who calls me by my eternal love name, this is perhaps the only verdict that will ever be given.
The single greatest gift, that talent that reflects God’s essence, received through our parents and ancestors through the dawn of creation, is Love, eternal, and univocal. Just as our Franciscan brother Blessed John Duns Scotus spoke of the Univosity of being, God as being itself in which all creation participates, so we speak the UNIVOCALITY OF LOVE.
But what, then, is love? The philosopher Kierkegaard proposed that Love means to presuppose love; to have love means to presuppose love in others; to be loving means to presuppose that others are loving, thus to arrive before them in love, without even waiting for anything in return. Thus, God loved us first … This description of love oﬀers the constant and normative, and thus universal and unsurpassable, phenomenon of love, sacred as well as profane. Anything that does not obey this requirement quite simply is not worthy of being called “love”: “Either loving has no meaning at all, or it signifies loving utterly without return.”
This anticipation of the other’s love is the only way to enter love. The more I love at a loss, the more I simply love. Yet in this “loss,” in fact, I lose nothing and win everything, beginning with the very possibility of loving. Therefore the paradox that follows: love that risks the most is the most assured; when lovers separate, the one who is most unhappy is the one who no longer loves, not the one who still loves: they have lost nothing because they still remain the lover. “For whoever has, to them shall be given, and they shall have more abundance. But whoever does not have, from them shall be taken away even that which they have”
This Univosity of Being and of Love gives us a foundation for understanding the sacredness of everything and our connection with everything. As theology, philosophy, and science converge, we come to understand all we are already connected to everything, inherently, objectively, metaphysically, ontologically, and theologically.
We begin with “original blessing”
Our DNA is already divine; that is why we naturally seek to know and love God. There must be a little bit of something inside you for you to be attracted to it; like knows like. You are what you are looking for!
Where is the Love? Can be found somewhere along the way like some treasure that makes the journey worthwhile? Or is Love the journey itself? Or is it the dream that makes the journey possible these thoughts ran through Francis mind one day as he listened to Brother Leo reading to him the letter of St John the apostle: God is Love, and if you abide in Love, you abide in God and God in you.
Yet, if you found God, you also found Love. But that was only the beginning of the quest, for was ever sure of having found God or even sure of looking for God in the right places and by the right road? Francis’ experience in the cave assured him that Jesus dwelled within him, that God was nowhere farther than his own heart. But they were the other presences of God he sought to find he wanted to search for God in all the places where you dwell any knew that such a request meant finding God everywhere along the way.
That is where Love was, that is where God was – anywhere and everywhere. To find God in the poorer crumbling houses of Poggio Bustone, to find God in the Castle of a count, in a cave on Mount Subasio, as well as in the Eucharist reserved in the tiny chapel of St Mary of the Angels. Francis suddenly realised that somewhere along the way he had begun finding God everywhere because God was with him all the time he brought Love with him on the road and that is why he found Love all along the way.
It was all so simple when he thought about it now. Love comes to those who have a Love already. You find what you bring with you in your heart. God has loved us and that gift is ours before we ever set out to find it.
(Bodo, Murray. The journey and the Dream. 2011 p. 138)
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