"Love is not loved."
Richard Rohr reminds us that St. Francis' espousal of God as a God of peace and love came at a time when the Christian church was "waging a Holy Crusade against its enemies, the Saracens." This marks as revolutionary St. Francis' profound belief in a God of nonviolence, a God of the poor and suffering, a God of the lowly and the powerless. Often, in frustration at the world's failure to recognise that God is love, Francis would cry out, "Love is not loved."
"Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love." John 4:8
God is love: He is the very essence of love; He is the personification of love. God does not love us because we deserve His love. God does not stop loving us because we are undeserving of His love. God's love for us is unconditional.
What would it be like to love unconditionally? Those of us with children probably come closest to it: we love our children whether they transgress or not; forgiveness for them is never too far away. But our love for our children is often fraught with worry and anxiety, with recriminations and admonitions. And which of us is not guilty of implying that we would love them more if they would only follow our instructions to the letter?
What, I wonder, would it be like if we loved the world and everyone in it unconditionally? What would it be like if we loved beyond impatience, beyond irritability, beyond disgust, beyond horror, beyond fear, beyond hatred? What would it be like if we loved beyond judgement?
Think of the wonderful liberation from fret and fume, from care and anxiety, which that kind of loving would grant us! Think of the serenity, the peace beyond all understanding that would be ours if we embraced love as our only truth! Our lives could flow onwards clearly and cleanly, without the sludge of negativity to turn them back on themselves.
Today our world seems intent on peddling hatred. What if we refused to allow the purveyors of hatred to win? What if we looked hatred in the face and recognised it for what it is: love turned sick and fearful, and instead of reacting with a corresponding hatred, or a thirst for revenge, we simply loved our enemies as Jesus instructed us to, and wished them a speedy return to health? What if we cried out with Paul, "I see and approve the better things of life, but the evil things I do!" In other words, what if we recognised that within the best of us, there is some evil, and within the worst of us there is some good?
20th June 2017 "Love is not loved."
What if we were to give love free rein and tell others through our words or actions that we would rather die than hate them? What if we embraced the truth that love is the only creative, redemptive, transformative force that exists? What if we freed ourselves from our tiny, self-important, false selves and acknowledged the truth of our glorious oneness with the vastness of Love?
25th April 2017 I Hope You Dance
21st March 2017 From Darkness to Dawn
27th October 2016 The Bright Field
27th June 2016 The Enemy Within
31st May 2016 The Little Way to The Almighty
25th January 2016 Love Immeasurable
11th November 2015 Letting Go
21st May 2015 The Gift of Loss
6th May 2015 Walls
24th November 2014 Leaning into Winter
24th October 2014 Crossing the Road
25th June 2014 Fetters of the Soul
30th April 2014 The Power of Gratitude
10th March 2014 The Darkling Thrush
11th February 2014 Spring
10th February 2014 Masks
3rd February 2014 Dancing in the Wind
21st January 2014 Chains of nostalgia
13th January 2014 Forgiving wrongs darker than death or night
7th January 2014 Singing out Loud
17th December 2013 CHRISTMAS FOUND
9th December 2013 Withering into the Truth
2nd December 2013 The Celtic Prayer Garden
25th November 2013 Missing Dates
18th November 2013 NEARER GOD’S HEART
12th November 2013 Night
27th April 2010 Healing God
25th November 2009 Our Poverty
1st September 2009 Which of the two tigers will win the fight?
1st June 2009 Be your own role model
25th May 2009 The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord
18th May 2009 Power of the real presence
7th May 2009 "Lessons I did not learn in School" - by Bill Gates
20th April 2009 JESUS RISES FROM THE DEAD
30th March 2009 The Long Walk to Freedom
23rd March 2009 Become a Friend
16th March 2009 Ireland in Identity Crisis?
9th March 2009 Love to Pray
2nd March 2009 Life - Giving Words
16th February 2009 Exclusion Policy
9th February 2009 Somewhere the Child
2nd February 2009 The Conversion of St Paul
12th January 2009 Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"
22nd December 2008 A Christmas Parable by Louis Cassels
15th December 2008 Work – from In the heart of the Temple by Sr Joan Chittister
8th December 2008 Am I at home when the doorbell rings?
1st December 2008 Street Corner Christ
17th November 2008 How Did I Get This Busy?
10th November 2008 A Homily for The Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica – 9th November 2008
3rd November 2008 John O’Donohue taken from “Benedictus - A Book of Blessings”
27th October 2008 Charles Peguy 1873-1914, French poet and politician
20th October 2008 The following is an extract from a talk given by Bishop George Lungu of Chipata in Zambia in Africa, to the synod of Bishops being held in Rome this month.
13th October 2008 Excerpt from ‘A Door of Hope’ by Jean Vanier
6th October 2008 A Reflection on Matthew's Gospel 21:28-32
29th September 2008 The Daily Decalogue of Pope John XXIII