Deep. Deep life, deep need, deep and open and deep and wide.
Yesterday, I was centering, in the midst of forty other people opening themselves up for the Spirit. A video session that went too long and intruded into the silence of the evening still managed to open a new understanding for me. The idea that I came away with from Father Keating was that true sacrifice was not intended to cause suffering.
God pours out love for all. God continually empties and yet is never any less full. God’s own love called creation into being, and formed into us the gift and breath of life. If never-ending giving, never-ending love, never-ending pouring out of oneself is sacrifice, then God first sacrificed self for us, in love, and did not suffer for it.
Suffering entered when we turned away, and our love failed. Our love failed to turn and return the love that was first given to us. The love for which we were created. Our very image is formed from the God who loves us and created us.
Created for Love, and yet unable to conceive it, we entered into suffering. Our sacrifices, especially because we were unable to give fully of ourselves, only ended in more emptiness, and more doubt.
God saw that we were unable to return the love given to us, and so God entered into the world, in the form of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ entered the world, and loved everyone and all that he saw. Jesus sacrificed everything, and suffered for it, because suffering had entered the world. Jesus suffered, because he loved us so deeply that nothing else would bring us back, but the ultimate completion of his love.
And so, God loved us, and still loves us, and desires more and more love. And God, as Jesus, came to live within us. To dwell within. To indwell.
It is this indwelling that calls us to love others. To “love with urgency, but not with haste.”* To love now, to begin loving because it is such a dire, immediate need. But not a love that is cheap, nor hasty, nor only on the surface.
A love that is deep. So deep that it reaches the depths of the thoughts and hopes of those around us.
This love, a deep love, is possible through the Spirit. She is the wonderful and powerful and fearful movement of the Love of God. She moves within us. She calls us deeper and deeper. She calls us to open up, to bare ourselves to others, so that we might see the full impression of the image of God within each other.
We so desperately need this Spirit moving within us, we do desperately need God as we enter into the living breathing work of the Kingdom. We will suffer, because we have loved so much. We will cry out in anguish when we feel that we have emptied ourselves so that nothing is left. And then, when we are emptied, Christ will come to live within us, and bring us peace. Amen.
*This is a quote from “Not with Haste” in the album Babel by Mumford and Sons. You should get and listen to the whole thing.