Love: Week 2
All we have to do is receive God’s gaze of love and then return what we have received. This is our spiritual agenda for our whole life: “love returning love” as my father St. Francis put it. (Sunday)
The only people who change, who are transformed, are people who feel safe, who feel their dignity, and who feel loved. (Monday)
To love God is to love what God loves. To love God means to love everything . . . no exceptions. (Tuesday)
John of the Cross consistently speaks of divine love as the template and model for all human love, and human love as the necessary school and preparation for any transcendent encounter. (Wednesday)
God wants creation to become fully conscious that it is imbued with divine love and living in that love. This final outcome is what Teilhard called “the Omega Point” and St. Paul called the Pleroma. —Louis Savary and Patricia Berne (Thursday)
Teilhard knew that love is not well served by collapsing into one another. It is better served by standing one’s own ground within a flexible unity so that more, deeper, richer facets of personhood can glow forth in “a paroxysm of harmonised complexity.” —Cynthia Bourgeault (Friday)
Practice: Ecstatic Dance
God cannot be known by thinking but by experiencing and loving. I hope you will take some time to explore this week’s theme in your lived experience.
Here’s one way you might play—with a childlike spirit—and feel Love’s flow in your body. You may even lose track of where you, the dancer, end and the dance itself begins.
Choose a favorite or new piece of music—classical, world, contemporary; anything that calls you to move!—and find a place in which you can listen and move without inhibition, barefooted if possible.
Allow your body to lead, following the invitation of the music. Let your mind take a back seat and tune in to the sensations of each part of your body.
Feel your feet connect with the ground. Let limbs and joints turn and bend as they will. Swing and sway your head, shoulders, hips. Sink deep into your body, remembering what it is to be a human animal.
Dance until you are pleasantly tired and then gradually slow your movements, perhaps to another musical tempo. Continue moving in smaller, gentler ways: breathe deeply, stretch your arms and legs, roll your head.
Come to a seated position and rest in stillness.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations (CAC Publishing: 2016), 51.
For Further Study:
Cynthia Bourgeault, Love Is the Answer. What Is the Question?: Selected Writings and Talks 2016-2018 (Northeast Wisdom: 2018)
Richard Rohr: Essential Teachings on Love, eds. Joelle Chase and Judy Traeger (Orbis Books: 2018)
Louis M. Savary and Patricia H. Berne, Teilhard de Chardin On Love: Evolving Human Relationships (Paulist Press: 2017)