The Sacred Scriptures ... are most fittingly likened to a honeycomb, for while in the simplicity of their language they seem dry, within they are filled with sweetness. —Hugh of St. Victor, Didascalicon
“The heart of the human being aspires to great things, lofty values, deep friendships, ties that are strengthened rather than broken by the trials of life. The human being aspires to love and to be loved. This is our deepest aspiration: to love and be loved; and definitively.” –Pope Francis
“Love your enemies” (Mt 5:44). That always reminds me of a priest friend of mine who used to say, “I don’t think we should preach that to our people. Let’s just get people to love their friends; that’s hard enough.”
A few weeks before his 33rd birthday, on an eight-day retreat to prepare for his ordination, Jorge Mario Bergoglio wrote a short “Credo,” or statement of his personal beliefs (which can be found at the end of this blog). Here are his most intimate thoughts about the purpose and promise of love, “the greatest power for the transformation of reality.”
The Italians have a beautiful expression for love: ti voglio bene. Though commonly translated as “I love you,” ti voglio bene more literally means “I wish you good” or “I want what is good for you.” This phrase reminds us that love is not primarily about what good feelings may be stirring within. Even less is it about what I can get out of a relationship for myself. The fullness of love is looking outward toward my beloved and seeking what is best for that person, not just what is good for me.
Image: flickr. Can you imagine being startled out of sleep in the middle of the deep darkness of a desert night in a full on grappling match with God? In the Old Testament we see the story of Jacob awaking to find himself in that very situation. He woke in the middle of the night—and the middle of the desert—and found he was not alone. Genesis 32:24 tells us that he “wrestled with him until daybreak.” As jujitsu fighters refer to it, he was “rolling” on the desert dirt and being slammed up against car-size rocks. This was the longest mixed martial arts fight in history, with no timeouts and no referee to stop the fight.