Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Love With Sinew And Bone

From "The Way of Enchantment", by R.R. Reno, in the January 2012 issue of First Things:
"Love and her enchantments can be dangerous. Our gods may be idols, our patriotism misguided, and our ardent convictions false.  The twentieth century tells a sad tale of the brutality of ideologies passionately believed. For this reason, love is never self-authenticating.  It must be purified: sometimes by reason, sometimes by conscience, sometimes by authority.
   But this purification does not alter the fact that love does not take us to ta high citadel.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  A wedding feast celebrates the destruction of a the fortifying walls that insulate one person from another, and the covenant of  marriage creates a very different kind of citadel, one in rather than above the world.  My wife, my children, my friends, my community, my nation - I cannot gaze down from above on those whom I love.  Love draws us down into what, viewed objectively, is a reckless intimacy: for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.   The same holds for a supernatural love of God. St. Augustine did not stand aloof, , nor did St. Francis, nor St. Ignatius... In their steadfast and immovable love of Christ they served the world rather than observing it from above...
     To look down on life from above: It may free us from the pains of desire, but it's a dry, cold, loveless enterprise, one that, if followed to its end, leaves the world as it is.  Christianity' for enduring happiness is more humane, allowing us to hope that the sinews of life - our very bones - can be penetrated by an enduring, unconquerable, eternalizing love."
   That, I believe, is the hope and the beauty of the Christmas message. God is not a cold, loveless God content to leave the world as it is.  He took upon himself the very sinews of life so that only the world but our should can experience His enduring, unconquerable, eternalizing love.  

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