November 12, 2017
So, then, Love your neighbor as yourself is just an invitation to join in the dance of the universe as God first laid it out – to the double beat of a heart in love – of God’s own heart.
Of course, God has no beating heart, but a creation that occurs with no other provocation than the free choice of the Creator can be no better described than as a work of love – a work unforced, unearned, undeserved and unpredictable. Like all love – in contrast to lust or caprice – it wills that the beloved should be forever (what lover wills the death of his beloved?) and, so, becomes a promise of undying faithfulness. Or better: of a faithful love that will embrace its own death rather than allow the death of the beloved.
These are the deep, deep realities that underlie Christianity’s equally deep assurances of forgiveness and reconciliation and ultimate eternal life..
In you and me, the reality of love can seem to be psychological only; but in the Creator, love acquires a metaphysical density and force. It is as real as gravity and sets the limits of time; the breadth of its embrace is the very infinity of the universe. Yet, as I think again, it seems to me that parent love must come close to this same kind of palpability and dimensionality. Thinking again, I am reminded of all the old, old couples who begin to look alike and seem to share a single brain and a “telepathic” understanding of each other that made Aristotle speak of such love as one soul two bodies.
All the forgoing may seem like a lot of romantic, sentimental, celibate twaddle! But I have indulged myself in it because only something like it can account for the revulsion that pedophilia occasions and the suspicion that accompanies a pre-nup and the damage that unfailingly occurs to children of divorce.
The old Romans asserted that corruptio optima pessima; the Bard rendered the same sentiment as lilies fester foulest.
When we stop being fascinated by the beauty and awed by the power of love – of God’s love and our own – that we begin to think that lesser human interactions are ‘as good as’ or ‘the same as’ or ‘virtual replacements’ for love. It is then than other fair things are mistaken as really worthy human achievements and other expenditures of energy are deemed to be ennobling and heroic.
There are those who think of the Church as the enemy of love and loveliness. But if humanity is the home and shepherd of being, then I think that the Church, contemplating the face Jesus who is the image of his Father, must in some measure deserve to be called the home and shepherd of love.
If not she, who? Randy, hormonal teens? Pornographers? Adulterers? “Players”? Questers after self-fulfillment, self-expression, self-whatever? The artificers of gender plasticity (look that one up! )? The addiction profiteers? The federal government? The man or woman in the mirror?
Really and truly and celibately yours,