Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Wandering Heart

It is in all honesty and every ounce of humility that I admit that I am struggling through something so basic these days:  the reality of God's Love.

God's Love is the title of the first talk of the Christian Life Program.  I have heard it over and over again since joining a movement for young Catholics in college.  It is the most difficult to grasp.  I talked to a priest a few months ago about my addictions and he said that I fall into those because I seek God's love in all the areas except where He resides - in my heart.

Truth be told, I do not understand love.  How can it be selfless?  How can it be patient?  How can it be kind?  

It is not that I have not experienced Love.  It is more that I have not recognized it.  And so I am restless, always searching for something more; always worried that I did not deserve to be loved; always focusing on what I could do to deserve that love, despite another thing I've learned from community - that we are loved not because we deserve it, but because The One Who Loves chooses it.  

It would be tedious and complicated to write about the lengths I've gone just to petition God to show me a love that I would recognize.  I have run away from Him simply because I struggled to understand.  I have hurt Him countless times.  

This morning I read this beautiful passage once more.  I tried to recall the words and meanings I have learned from doing a Joy of Discovery bible study on it.  But even an intellectual understanding of what love means is not enough.  

I do not know how to be still and to just be loved.  I love this passage:

From 1 Corinthians 13 (ESV):

13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, [1] but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; [2] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

What is that sound?  It is the familiar sound of my heart breaking, and the familiar voice of my conscience saying it is not too late to ask for healing.  For God loves me this much.  

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