Tuesday, July 28, 2015

An Excess of Love

God's love for us in Christ is far beyond what we can imagine. "It is an excess; infinite love has to be so. The Incarnation, the manger, Nazareth, the Cenacle, Gethsemani, Calvary, each was an excess...In comparison with our smallness, infinite love must necessarily be an excess. Yet, how difficult to convince souls that God loves them. If they could be convinced, how many anxieties would be alleviated."

Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of our life in monastery is experiencing over and over again the painful, boring truth of our sinfulness and allowing Christ in that very moment to gaze on us with love and exquisite tenderness. It may seem utter madness to allow ourselves to be the objects of Christ’s love and attention precisely in that moment. It is the great reversal, the sublime trick of the monastic vocation- we thought we were coming to the monastery to gaze upon Christ, but it is Christ Jesus himself who wants to gaze upon us in our lowliness and poverty, not to make us feel small and miserable, but because he loves us in excess.

Quotation  from Only Jesus by Luis M. Martinez, D. D., trans. Sister Mary Daniel, B. V. M. , B. Herder, St. Louis, 1962. Photograph by Brother Brian.