Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Love, Pain, Refusal, and Change

The other day I posted and wrote about the January 1st message from Anne, a Lay Apostle. My heart has been drawn back to it again and again. This morning, I wrote the following as a response, a personal echo to the message:

Most Holy Father, you are the best of Fathers. You know when my heart is grieving, and you always know why. When that grief touches and fills me, I will come to you. I come to you now. You will heal me and restore my heart to me. You give me courage and strength so I can proceed with my earthly journey. You care about my earthly journey! I ask you, Father, to be united with me in it. I ask you to remain with me through every moment, as you so desire to do. In this fellowship, I will come to walk on the path you have marked out for me -- that which not only is your best, but for my highest good as well. But it is also for the good of the world. I will help you in your deepest desire: loving the world. By faith, I hear the souls crying out to you in pain. I will bring these souls to you. I will bring them to you.

I immediately thought of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all comfort,who comforts us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort which we ourselves received from God." That is exactly what this message is communicating.

Then I realized that the question I need to ask myself when I am in grief and pain is whether I want my heart restored or not. I need to realize the purpose of my heart, and therefore what it means to have my heart restored. The purpose of my heart -- the purpose of my life -- is not (listen, it's a newsflash) I say, not to be all comfy-cozy. The purpose of my heart is to love.

To love and to be loved -- that's all life is for.

That's where we find fulfillment, but it is also where we find all our pain.

When love is not there for us, or we can't find it, or in our confusion we turn our back to it, we grieve. And when the love we offer is rejected or slighted, we grieve. When we refuse to be part of giving or receiving love, buried under our gruffness or cynicism or pride or aloofness is grief.

And grief starts the cycle again where we need to go back to the Father. There we find an eternal, never-ceasing fountain of love. But the Way to this love -- the way of this love -- is the cross. Jesus. He emptied Himself. If the cycle is to keep flowing through me, I empty myself, too. Regardless of rejection. Instead of refusing pain, we must refuse gruffness and pride. The power is there, in the supernatural love I have received. I must allow it to change me. I must allow it to change me.

Daily life with God the Father is all about growing in grace, beauty, and strength for this love active to be in and through us.

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