In one of my last posts, I wrote about how holiness is not firstly doing anything as it is ‘letting it be done unto you,’ that is, being loved by God. How our striving for holiness should be the way we show God how much we love Him.
“Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is
incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless if love is not
revealed to him if he does not encounter love, if he does not
experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate
intimately in it.” -John Paul II
While pondering that quote I found that in everything; what I have been through, what I desire to achieve, the efforts I make, knowing who I want to be… it is all a constant discernment of the way I choose to use my passions, desires, talents, ideas, identity, and intellect to experience the greatest love. Namely, a deeper love of Christ.
Although, sometimes we can’t appreciate love in its totality because of our inclinations towards impatience in times of adversity, loss of hope, or shielding the heart and being closed off to friends and family. We don’t like the idea of the unknown future or starting something new. We want what we want and we want it “now.”
Let your identity in Christ gradually form, every day. Don’t try to force yourself into love, but let love be gifted to you. Only God can say what his spirit plans to uproot and lead you towards, so let Him lead you and in doing that; accept every feeling, every momentary affliction, and freedom of the ‘incomplete reality, the suspense of the future.
In his book, Love and Responsibility, John Paul II says that man desires love more than he desires freedom. That, “freedom exists for the sake of love. If freedom is not taken advantage of by love it becomes a negative thing and gives human beings a feeling of emptiness and unfulfillment.”
Freedom, without a desire for true charity can be lead into boredom and mischief, John Paul says. Think about how young people, in their awesome desire for love and the hormonal changes in their bodies, often turn to pornography to feed their desires for love, which ultimately leads their ideas of love to become ideas of overpowering selfish pleasure, and no true charity. Without authentic love being our guide [God and right ordering of passions] we cultivate a fruitless spirit of deprivation.
We, as human persons, are miners, constantly mining for shiny gold [love]. The moment when (something or someone) opens your heart and your life into a way to gain a sense of direction, purpose, and fulfillment, do me a favor and rejoice. You have struck gold!
This is exactly why when a man meets a woman worth pursuing the sacrament of marriage–he gains a determined will, rooted in direction (a path to win her over for marriage), purpose (husband and father), and fulfillment (a life dedicated to loving the way God does–total gift of self). His job has more meaning, his everyday decisions have side-effects, and he is doing it all for the sake of love.
Marriage is by far one of the most obvious forms of love in our culture today. When people encounter the love of Christ in another person, make it their own and participate intimately with it, they come alive as a “comprehensible” person. Relationships are rewarding and God ignites them to great depths when done according to His will. But, aside from that analogy (which I could write about all day), there are many amazing ways we are called to encounter and make love our own.
What jobs, people, and opportunities lead me to closer to Christ? What moments of the day and what opportunities let me experience God’s love for me? Who do I know that best exemplifies the Father’s love?
The answers to those questions are foreshadowing the glory of Heaven for your life. Your desires are specific and given to you from God. You can be assured that the moments of life that pierce your heart are God’s way of telling you to tap into that a little deeper…
Our lives should contain and be great ways to make visible the invisible love of God. And when we remain open to God’s ways, His direction, and assurance that He’ll give us the desire of our hearts, through the trials he puts us through, the patience he wants us to undergo, and the path he wants us to follow, you find that through the gift of self-giving your life makes sense.
Life has a purpose.
Life has love.
“The man who wishes to understand himself thoroughly and not just in accordance with immediate, patrial, often superficial, and even illusory standards and measures of his being, her must with his unrest, uncertainty, and even his weakness and sinfulness, with his life and death, draw near to Christ. He must, so to speak, enter into him with all his own self. He must appropraite and assimilate the whole of the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption in order to find himself. If this prfound process takes place within him, he then bears fruit not only of adoration of God but also a deep wonder at himself. How precious must man be in the eyes of the Creator, if he “gained so great a Redeemer.” God gave his only Son in order that man should not perish, but have eternal life.”
-JPII Redemptor Hominis