Friday, March 19, 2010

Short Thought on Love

As a Christian, I believe that God is Love. It says so in the Bible, after all (1 John 4:16). Lately I've been reading a book called Encountering the Mystery by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, and one of my favorite lines so far in the book has been, "Love is the ultimate content of freedom and of eternity" (125).

As I was contemplating that this morning, and thinking about God as Love, a thought crossed my mind: the most God-like thing anyone can ever do is love. If Love is who God is, then to be not merely godly but in fact God-like, love those around you. Love everyone. Love the broken, reach out in love to everyone who has needs. Love can restore the world, because love is a divine act, the ultimate divine act. Love is the essence of our theosis, our divinization. Athanasius once said, God "was made man that we might be made god" (On the Incarnation 54.3). To paraphrase that, Love was made man that we might be made love, that every action of ours might be so saturated with love that no single word could ever sum us up as well as "love" can. Insofar as we truly love, we're conformed ever more to the image of the Holy Trinity, that eternal community of enduring, flawless Love. "Whoever lives in love lives in God" (1 John 4:16). Every act of love is, one could perhaps say, another step along the path of becoming a god by participation in the Divine Love that timelessly antedates all created things and encompasses the whole of creation. Love is the heartbeat of heaven and earth, and love will always, without a doubt, have the final word.

O holy fire of love divine, blaze in us. Consume all that is not born of love; purify us to be living icons of Love, the expression in our day of the true Love who came to dwell among us so many centuries ago. Let us be living, breathing mirrors of divine love in a world that so desperately needs to know love, to know Love. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment