To love is to will the good of the other as other. It is to break out of the black hole of one’s own self-regard and truly desire what is best for another. Therefore, to be sure, love is inclusive in the measure that it recognizes the essential dignity of each individual; love is tolerant, inasmuch as it respects the goodness of even those who hold errant points of view; and love encourages diversity, to the degree that it eschews the imperialistic imposition of one’s own ego upon another. However, sometimes love is exclusive, intolerant, and unaccepting of diversity—precisely because it wills the good of the other.
~ Bishop Robert Barron
Yes, weep and grieve until the Spirit is poured down on us from above and the badlands desert grows crops and the fertile fields become forests. Justice will move into the badlands desert. Right will build a home in the fertile field. And where there’s Right, there’ll be Peace and the progeny of Right: quiet lives and endless trust. My people will live in a peaceful neighborhood— in safe houses, in quiet gardens. The forest of your pride will be clear-cut, the city showing off your power leveled. But you will enjoy a blessed life, planting well-watered fields and gardens, with your farm animals grazing freely.
~ from Isaiah 32
Oh beloved, it is true.
We were indeed Designed to be Loved. We ache for acceptance.
But, there is a deep problem. We have no idea about how to receive the Love that we need, so we try to go out and get it for ourselves in ways that will never work.
We give away eternal treasure for pleasure as a proxy for feeling accepted.
We forgo satisfaction and chase after honor from others.
We give away relationship that we might gain power over people.
We spend infinitely valuable time to gain a few rusting coins.
And though we continually “dance around these altars*” we find that all of our trying to fill this black hole of our self-regard has no effect, other than to drain our environment of resources, and light, and hope.
Sometimes, when we keep going along these destructive paths, we find ourselves being pulled back into the event-horizon of our abysmal egos. Time slows. We feel the terrible drag of the flesh. And, every shot of whatever we thought we wanted returns less and less, faster and faster.
We want out. But we can’t find the way.
Can we see it?
John Paul II saw it. He called it, “The Law of The Gift.” (The theological term often used to describe this way of life is the Law of the Gift. Essentially what is means is that we are really and completely fulfilled only when we learn how to give more completely of ourselves (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, #24). )
It is the most counter-intuitive move in our walk with Him. We are indeed following our Design when we desire to be Loved, but we fall quickly out of spec when we try to get this Love for ourselves. For, in trying to get something for ourselves, we counteract the very thing that Love is: Willing the good of the other, as other.
However, like most Kingdom math, we find that it is not the law that is wrong. What has been wrong is our perspective. When we finally allow ourselves to stop being the center of our own existence, what can instantly come into play is Life and Love and Wholeness bursting forth from the center of our being.
This, rather than a black and freezing hole that can never be filled.
So, are you losing your peace? Are you trying to get the Love you were Designed to experience, but cannot seem to find? Hans Urs von Balthasar said it best: we do not live in an ego-drama. We live in a Theo-drama. Life does not work any other way.
Tonight is your night. Time to get out of the black hole of self, that the Beautiful Light of His Presence can burst forth from your inner man; that you might both receive the Love you truly need, and give it to everyone else around you as well.
It is compassion that removes the heavy bar, opens the door to freedom, makes the narrow heart as wide as the world. Compassion takes away from the heart the inert weight, the paralyzing heaviness; it gives wings to those who cling to the lowlands of self.
* Robert Barron