Sunday, June 06, 2004

Love, above all

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed every morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, what you know that breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in love,
stay in love
and it will decide
everything. "

- Attributed to Pedro Arrupe, S.J. (1907 - 1991), Superior General of the Society of Jesus, 1961 - 1984

I read this out of the bulletin board at the Gesu chapel in the Ateneo campus. I was so struck by it that I missed communion because I was so intent on capturing the passage on my phone (I actually had V type it out on his phone and send it to me via SMS).

"It will decide everything." That is so compelling, so true. If you let love rule your heart, you will do everything for it. Priorities will be set, decisions will not be any easier but decisions will be made in the light of your life's direction. I was so affected that I could feel tears forming in my eyes. It reminded me of what was important. Above all, it is a love that is larger than my life. For me, God can only be glimpsed in such love, "caritas," "agape." Love that is not easy. Love that demands only all of your life.

"What you know that breaks your heart." Because of what we hold dear, we open ourselves to the deepest kind of wound. And it's beautiful how the passage describes that what you love will open you not only to beauty and joy but to pain. Not just any kind of pain, but the kind of pain that will break your heart. I remember the passage on pain by Kahlil Gibran. Pain is the other face of joy. Without it, your joy will be shallow. Your greatest experience of joy is measured only by the depth of your greatest experience of pain.

Love transforms you in this way.

And the least I can do is to write this down. To write this down for myself and for anyone who would care to read this.

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