Monday, 04 January 2010 17:46
Written by Winston Elliott III
"...whoever desires greater action needs better contemplation; whoever wants to play a more formative role must pray and obey more profoundly; whoever wants to achieve additional goals must grasp the uselessness and futility, the uncalculating and incalculable (hence "unprofitable") nature of the eternal love in Christ, as well as of every love along the path of Christian discipleship. --Hans urs von Balthasar
It is the start of a new year, a new decade. Many of us have set goals, made resolutions and prepared action plans. We may want to write a book, read more, earn more, be on time. Perhaps with all of our self improvements and increased efficiency we can be more productive at work and at home.
Do we also have the desire to be disciples of Jesus? Von Balthasar urges us to live lives of greater contemplation so that our actions may further the Kingdom of God. As intentional disciples we know that living the life of eternal love may appear as foolishness to the world. However, our love is not calculated to please the world but is offered in gratitude to our Lord and for all of his children.
Whoever wants to command must have learned to follow in a Christ-like manner; whoever wants to administer the goods of the world must first have freed himself from all desire for possession; whoever wants to show the world Christian love must have practiced the love of Christ (even in marriage) to the point of pure selflessness.--von Balthasar
Here von Balthasar offers us a great challenge for to follow in a Christ-like (love immersed) manner may be to follow on to death. Do we trust the Lord (or anyone) enough to obey when everything we have may be demanded? Are we capable of freeing ourselves of all desire for possession? Only with the grace of God can we even conceive of why this may be desirable. Many of us may ask ourselves if we have ever felt a love so great that we would even consider this level of selflessness.
One might think that what our Lord asks is too much. Maybe to live the beatitudes is beyond human capability. Let's not be radical. After all, moderation in pursuit of supernatural virtue is no vice, is it?
Or perhaps for you this is not just the start of a new year or decade. Maybe now is the beginning of a new life in Christ. A life of radical love and radical commitment. Maybe this is the year when I love more than I have ever loved before. This could be the year when I live a life of gratitude and gift. Gratitude for the love of the Father and the sacrifice of his Son. Gratitude for the Holy Spirit who opens my eyes to the mystery of the Holy Trinity.
And this may be the beginning of my new life of sharing the love of the Lord with everyone I touch. Loving in a new way, with boldness and beauty. Maybe this is the beginning of loving without fear of rejection. Fear rejected and love embraced so that I am in communion with God and all his creation.
Yes Lord, please immerse me in your grace. Thank you Lord for your love. Thank you for your peace. Please Jesus help me to be more like you so that your light shines through me. I love You. Help me to love You more. Amen.