Thursday, January 01, 2015

Powerful Moment: Love Without Violence

A few days before Christmas, I came across this video (if the video doesn't appear, you can try hovering over "Post," or click it, but then come on back):

This little two minute video has been like a needle visiting my life and leaving me with a pretty little patch of embroidery on my soul. That's a weird metaphor, but it is about that astounding. It isn't like it struck me, like a huge light bulb/naru hodo moment. It was as if hearing these words from this Brother left something in me that is tangible. Confirmed in me something I've heard and learned. It's like I heard this, and my soul, or Jesus in my soul proclaimed a Great Amen, and something has changed.

And in two minutes!

Love, in the gospel sense, is a love without violence, especially violence to oneself. That's the punchline.

I am certain that I need to soak in this before I can articulate much about the wonder that surrounds it, in my line of vision. But my raw stab at it goes like this: Basically I've done the same thing he said Therese did. Except I have a distinct feeling I was much more violent at it than she. Pride, perfectionism, measuring up to self-imposed standards, and other assorted crud has all resulted in a long, hard streak of doing violence to myself. And I've always done it under a twisted pretext of it being good, right, and admirable. And it's not! It's really, really not!

This stitching, this Great Amen, this whatever-it-is, is like a peace I've never known before. I really am so little. I really am called and cared for by One who is So Great.

And at the same time, I've been reading the account of the martyrdom of sixteen Carmelites during the French revolution, and have been inspired by them and their embrace of the call to martyrdom, which is the ultimate expression of the call to worship -- a call (worship) which I recognize as my own. There's more to say about that, but it is as if being freed from doing violence to myself is being freed to die to myself. Because it is about grace, not effort. God's gift, not my performance.

I will shortly be ordering Br. Schmidt's book Everything is Grace.

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