Roman Catholic Parish


June 2, 2019

Dear All,

The question is: How does it feel to choose God?

Last week I had a long and complex answer ready. But the other day, I read a quote from - of all people F. Nietzsche -- that says it all (along with some commentary): "True, we love life, not because we are used to living, but because we are used to loving. There is always some madness in love, but there is also always some reason in madness." I have no idea of what FN had in mind when he wrote those words, but I want to make them my own as the clearest possible expression of what it feels like to choose God. It means to grow more and more used to love and, in this way and at the same time, to grow less and less used to and comfortable with all that is not love.

It is easy to think that I am alone in the world with only those external and internal stimuli that provoke feelings that motivate actions that bring other feelings, etc. in a great circle. But, if I begin to believe that the loving God, too, is present in my life and my world and in the life and world of those around me, then I will always have a choice to make between the creatures (including myself) and their loving Creator. Good feelings brought about by contact with a good creature will force me to choose between the feelings, the creature or the Creator. Bad feelings, brought about by the bad deeds of a creature will force me to choose between 'flight or fight' or standing secure in the presence of the loving Creator of myself and the other creature. The presence of a loving God - the fact of God's love - always opens up the possibility of choosing love and the feelings it brings - the Lover and the feelings that come with is presence - being loved more surely and unfailingly that any other possibility.

Confronted with someone who has hurt me, forgiveness (non-retaliation) is possible only because God and his love are greater in benevolence and power to heal than is the malefactor Patience in the face of delays or incompetence is possible only because there is one who bestows eternal life, even as the slow one eats up the short days of this life. Generosity is possible with the poor or the sick or the needy of any sort only because of the presence of a Lover who 'will not be outdone in generosity'.

In the presence of such a Lover, anything less than that love will become proportionately less desirable. In short, I will get used to Love and this will make me love life, even in its less loveable moments and inhabitants.

The acid test of choosing God and, thus, of loving life is certainly the mindset of the Crucified Christ.

After praying to have the 'cup' taken away, he chooses God and his love - his will, not his own. After being abandoned by his own and tortured by strangers, he prays for their forgiveness 'because they know not what they do' - betraying and torturing the Son of their Loving God. Finally, when there is no feeling that God is present or caring, Christ chooses even a silent and absent Lover, putting his life in his hands.

And then comes Easter!

Really and truly used-to-you yours,



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