Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Free Love

What enables us to love?
What hinders us from loving others?

Love is the freedom to give of yourself to others. So, the inability to give freely really constitutes lack of love.

And it starts with God. God is where love begins, as He freely offers himself to us in His Son.

Today's gospel reading contains the gospel gem (John 3:16) known especially to Protestants as the "gospel in a nut shell":

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that whosoever believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life."

The phrase is extremely popular for obvious reasons: instantly accessible, succinct, winsome.
And it leads us where we need to go,
to the heart of a freely loving, giving relationship with God and with others.

But sometimes we need some help getting there.
We need to be set free from ourselves,
in order that we might love more fully,
as we are fully loved.

Father Maurice Zundel, Swiss mystic, poet philosopher, liturgist and author, wrote very movingly of that freedom to love:

"Freedom implies an inner liberation, one that will radically transform us by opening up within ourselves an unlimited space; in it our instinctual ego ... will no longer limit our horizon.

This liberation can only be the work of boundless love, the result of discovering, in the depths of our beings, a Presence that will elicit our offering by offering itself to us..... and it is because this Presence is infinite that the love it awakens embraces the whole universe.

God is at the heart of our freedom.... Man is born from this silent dialogue with the mysterious Host who sets him free from his own self, by making the given that subjects him to the giving that fulfills him."

That last sentence is thick, but profound.

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