Over the course of our lives, how much of our freedom
have we given away in order to be loved?
Loving God inside the monastic cloister, or in the still night when there are no disturbances, is much easier than loving others on a daily basis. Loving others requires wisdom. We must be wise in order to recognize how those who do not yet know how to love, trample love. It requires wisdom to be mindful of the forces of ignorance that fracture and divide, while at the same time keeping love alive in the heart. True love is capable of holding in unity both our capacity of love, as well as our capacity of un-love. Wisdom does not require that we love to our detriment, love against ourselves, or sacrifice ourselves for unholy love. This is a misunderstanding of love.
How, then, does the Divine love?
The universal force of love moves in the direction of freedom. Divine love, loves us in freedom, and is our greatest liberation. Divine love is not possessive. It doesn’t try to control or own, but loves us without demand. Therefore, Divine love never asks us to sacrifice our true self to love. Think about this again: Divine love loves us in freedom. Divine love loves without possession. Therefore, Divine love never asks us to sacrifice our true self to love or to be loved.
Over the course of our lives, how often have we given away our true selves in order to belong to the crowd? How much of our freedom have we given away in order to be loved? God’s love is not that kind of love. Like Divine love, our love also has to be free, without sacrificing our spiritual need. It never opposes or diminishes the practical realities of life—getting a job, finding a place to live, taking care of children, or sustaining one’s self physically.
Beverly Lanzetta, © 2016. Excerpt from, “Divine Love Lecture,” Monastic Retreat, 2007.
BEVERLY LANZETTA © 2017. All rights reserved.