Monday, September 05, 2011


There are times when I write and then, a neat advantage of using the computer, I hit delete either because the essay has been a mere rant with no charitable purpose, something utterly self-serving or so pedantic as it would either bore those who read it or have them hit delete for the entire blog!
There are times when I write, and this is rather humbling, I sense what has been written is minus my fingerprints: that is I have managed somehow to write words for the Word Himself.
Finally there are times, like right now, when the writing is a self-imposed cathartic exercise to try and get past emotional wounds, confusions, and resistance to the healing touch of Christ, to hear over the cacophony of my emotions or faith-doubts, the clear voice of the Holy Spirit asking trust, surrender, yes, conversion – that change of heart which seems never ending if we wish to be totally Christ’s.
I am at an age in life when: even if being banished by my bishop had not radically cut off from me most of those in my life I care for, removed me thousands of miles from the ‘where’ of life I felt at home, now death takes away even more treasured friends and family members and the circle gets smaller.
Likewise at the same time the growth of John and Lucille in their married union and the expanse of their family of growing children means the circle is even smaller – sure there are moments like babysitting or the very rare gathering where I am present but, mostly I believe they are unawares it happens, both family and friends present tend to relate among themselves and the old man is left watching the children.
Eventually you stop asking, though not expecting, for attention, for things important to you like a trip to the mountains or to a hockey game, because no longer able or comfortable doing such on your own, asking and it not happening, the pain of disappointment becomes too much – forgotten birthdays etc., you refrain from comment aware others are some busy and forget you not out of a failure to love, you tell yourself, it is just the way society is these days.
Of course none of those interior conversations ease a wit of the pain and, dangerously if not checked and handed over to Jesus through Mary, such painful interior conversations can slop over into doubts about whether God loves us or not.
Then comes the real shocker when some event you are excluded from smacks you so hard an emotion surfaces you don’t want to admit is even there until its raging tenacity seeking to be faced wears you down so much you unwittingly begin to cooperate with the feelings and thoughts which nourish them: insecurity, fear, resentment, anger – and once aware of them you are ready to be devoured by self-disgust.
The name of the shocker: jealousy.
There is a part of the brain called the amygdala which is like a storehouse the manger of which seems not to care a whit about housing in the same room, as it were, cats and dogs, lions and sheep, which are stand-ins for diametrically opposed emotions, some ferocious enemies of one another, all in the same place.
No wonder some days we humans feel like our interior lives are a perpetual war zone and that even before going to the deeper level wherein spiritually we seem to struggle simultaneously with God and the devil!
Of course the devil is capable of one thing only: hate.
Whatever else he may seem to express or talk about or suggest or do it all comes down to the single spawn of his cold, dark reality of pride: hate, hatred especially of the children of God: beloved children of the Father, beloved spouses of the Son, beloved temples of the Holy Spirit.
God who is love, pure love, says of Himself He has jealousy – hence the conundrum!
Divine jealousy, like divine anger, neither is an emotion, nor is divine love.
Each is an aspect of GOD IS LOVE, an expression of the infinite of infinite divine love-fire: for us!
If we wish to have our disordered emotions healed, embrace full and joyful surrender to whatever the Father wills or permits in our lives, whatever Jesus asks of us, wherever He asks us to be with Him, indeed to surrender to by whatever means the Holy Spirit heals, purifies, converts, sanctifies, then, I believe, we need to understand divine jealousy if we hope to grasp even an iota of the divine-love-fire-gift of our very being.
It is NOT as Descartes claims that I think and thus I am!
It IS that I AM beloved, thus capable of thought – all thought, the neat, nice, loving ones and those less so!
In Exodus, with the sound of His “I AM” still singing throughout creation and in human hearts God who is love states bluntly in His own words directly or through the mouths of others: I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God…the Lord is ‘the Jealous One’….the Lord, your God, is a consuming fire, a jealous God….your God….who is in your midst, is a jealous God. [cf. Ex. 20:5; 34:14; Deut. 4:24; 6:15].
In essence these words are the aching heart of love Himself who has created us as His beloved and He is virtually pleading with us to understand He loves us, to love Him, to love ourselves enough that all our human need for ‘other’ and any response from ‘other’, love returned for love, must be what they are intended for: means of embracing ever more His love for us – never a replacement.
But we do make those ‘others’ replacements for Him because they seem so real, tangible, closely present and so when they fail we think it is ‘our’ need not being met.
Sure there is some truth to that but the deeper, fuller reality is the pure-burning-white-light-truth we are ‘feeling/experiencing’, beneath the emotional chaos, IS the consuming fire of His jealous love for us.
Now I won’t quote them here, as in this moment it would cut to the emotional bone way too deeply, but now all those teachings of Jesus about how we have to leave dad and mom and son and daughter and place and can’t serve two masters and o yeah by the way when we fail to pay attention to each other, that one about declining the wedding invitation because we have places to go and fish to fry and other people to see…..that is a turning away from the Divine Bridegroom present in ‘other’ who is in front of us and……………….
It is all about love: His love, our love, my love, your love.
Now when Jesus tells us to love ‘other’ as we love ourselves the presumption is indeed that we truly love ourselves – that is we move and live and have our being rooted in the Trinity, rooted in God-love, knowing hey: it is not how I was accepted or rejected or whatever as a child that testifies to my Lovableness/not as a person; it is not how I am remembered for that family outing or whatever that testifies, etc., etc., - fill in your own pain, disappointment, rejection – it is my VERY living, breathing, heart beating, yes emotional turmoil, which testifies I am beloved of Love Himself, for He is incapable of creating a single person He would not love.
The difficult challenge, the never ending struggle then is both to embrace the purifying fire of Divine-Love-Jealously and that it burns most intensely when we are ‘jealous’, that is experience the pain of the failure of ‘other’ to affirm our existence.
Of course no husband, wife, son, daughter, parent, friend can ever affirm that in full – but it sure helps if they slake our thirst from time to time with a wee dram of their loving presence!
Finally, He Himself who is the living-water, the wellspring of life, of love, yearning to slake our thirst to the full, gives us the ultimate word about the infinite of infinite intensity of how God loves us as Jesus says to us with every one of our heartbeats: As the Father loves Me, so I also love you. Remain in My love {Jn.15:9}.

1 comment:

kam said...

Your thoughts have left me filled and squirming with emotions, with feelings that are usually oppressed in any given moment. What began as a cry to us ends with a word from God through you; ..."so I also love you..."
Thanks for sharing your thoughts again.