Christian Love as Source, Way and Fulfillment

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Part of "Christian Love as Source, Way and Fulfillment of Christian Life"

(including discussion and questions of retreat participants)

Tape 1, Side A

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is not specifically christian thought but not in a way that excludes other forms of love but as will be proposing as fulfilling of them if they're authentically human bulb and it's quite a topic it's quite overwhelming
so we'll just be offering some suggested reflections and insights that come from scripture or the mystics or the theologians or poets or something and at the end of each one of these colors will be having discussion to open up to your insights and question said
we are completing so what is said here but it's been i think a topic that we explore a lifetime and it's where we begin with our up the parental love we receive from mom and dad and it's hopefully where we and our journey on this earth
with about loved around us either physically or the whole spirit of their presence and it purports to be the answer to our deepest questions about what it's all about we have to have these questions because we didn't decide that we would be human beings
it would be born in this century and of that family etc were thrown into the situation as the existentialist philosophers and theologians and so we don't come we answers to it all sorts of quest what is it all about
and he answered christianity and others of the great religions about support dealers in some sense rather in the deepest since it is about this a copy love that that's where we come from that's how we should journey that's where we're going so i fight
this extremely up relieving that we can bring it all together we can get to the heart of the matter and then the trick is just to be there to abide there as first charm says
but up to know in some sense what we're trying to do or what we've received and what we will receive that i think that's a great consolation there's so many people who really don't have a clue so many people were convinced that it isn't all about christian love so i think
it's a grace to have this commitment of faith and hope and love
so jesus says for instance you know the famous triple commandment this are is the fullness of the law and the products that is all jewish revelation is in this bug god with all your heart mind soul and strength and love your neighbor as
we'll be exploring this we're currently but up in these three dimensions of the love commitment that shit says jesus you do that in your live you do that in your attain the fullness of god so that's something and then of course and paul the greatest of these is love of the
these being the highest christian virtues and gives the greatest of them is bob and if i have all the rest but don't have love i'm nothing but love about fulfills all the rest
and then you remember first john says simply of whoever abides in love abides in god and god in them because god is love so there's that amazing equation god is love
raymond brown says that's probably the most famous and most popular vs in scripture and augustan has a lovely phrase reasons if we lost all the rest
but had only that verse of scripture we could somehow reconstruct all the rest from just that burst that's it that is the heart of the matter and not a heart of darkness immediately better cards truly of might a life-giving heart and so we can called all kinds of mistakes as we
will in these sub he deems but also many a book poets and dumb writers say something of the same sort maybe it's not precisely about the fullness of christian god peter talking about they're talking about some analogy this is how they
summit it up and so real guy says for one human being to love another human being this is the ultimate task the final test and prove the work for which all other work is merely preparation was talking specifically about love among
humans but up it's interesting that he should put that as when everything else is preparation for
in there's loose lovely quote of the emily dickinson all i know of love is that love is all there is
and i think i'm a serious thomas would agree with that in the in the final analysis if god used love everything else is preparation for about fulfilled in love or illusion or of non existence finally so either that's true where it's not if it is true than so
somehow to get our life centered there that sweat christian spirituality wants to be all about that's what interpersonal relations want to be all about that's when bitter she wants to be all about of private prayer my relation with myself whatever relation with creation
somehow it all wants to get back to their and so the only yup challenge is to walk the talk but it's not so easy of course i think as we get into this theme and getting to reflecting about our own experience of love we discover that some ways it's the hardest thing of all
it's easy to go through the motions but to truly love the other to truly love ourselves to truly love god extremely difficult so that's the narrow way and that leads to the kingdom
that is some perfection
remember rough
a dean jones said the grace cathedral pms workshop where he asked to be one to very much focus on that they were loved by god for just about twenty seconds and a focus their and up and he suddenly we probably can't keep their much
longer than that were so convinced that we can't be loved by god and goddess really love us than to to hold ourselves consciously and committed lee there is a real act of faith really but to come back there that's really one way we can express the gospel the good news
god does love us not so loved the world god time soon he become concerned etc but it's hard work just about self certainly to about the other of it's the hardest task of all yoga goes on to say and certainly to love god
and so and then one of our special problems i think in our contemporary world as as term bob has been up kind of so overused and for such a range of ambiguous of applications that it's almost a word we'd rather not use he itself
i'm kind of tainted and done
and so we can either drop it and use all kinds of synonyms compassion and mercy and of unconditional want to and acceptance etc or at least in our christian assembly as we can try to redeem the word or we can
use the exquisitely young greek form of but a guppy or other variations my gut feeling on friendship love or something but there is that problem it used also in in trivial ways i just love chocolate
this isn't the kind of love that is god obviously here we descended to greater a mean level up and then obviously can have all kinds of a tawdry salacious applications how's your love life in cetera et cetera
oh they didn't even know each other but they've been in love
how do you make love really you can't make a copy but you can receive a copy and then share to psychopathy is is incredible primordial source of force and energy of it all but you've got to be aware that up he'll be
a lot of lingo about love that will also not have much to do with christianity at all
so we want to try to sort all that out and then in simply in the unclean let us say the wholesome the fully human ways of expressing love we are so many different dimensions modalities phases of love again we big
given as little pony babies with this awareness of a mommy's love and daddies love for daddy slavishly of different from arby's love then we get to know maybe the love of grandmother that different still and may be a brother and sister and that's different than somehow we we move into up a
deep in authentic self love perhaps we got to explore what that means and then not love of friends of the enemy when said all about and then romantic love authentic romantic love spousal love
and then we perhaps as a parent all these are quite different to bug as a little tiny baby is quite different than to love as a up and self giving mother for instance why do we use the same word and her so all kinds of things to think about
so this up could be a basic exercise of this weekend and i think of really of our lifetime to reflect back over all these different phases and dimensions of love in our own life when it's gone well when it's not gone well what can we think about that how can we
pray about that of how does all that do men and challenge us today so up to keep churning not this but one of the furious will suggest is that really human development in it's unfolding different stages and faces and
passengers one of the ways perhaps the deepest way to understand it is in a series of human love said become more and more illumined and fulfilled by grace by christian love but it doesn't always work you know sometimes we have been real setback said cetera well
to acknowledge that and to ponder what can i learn from that and all the suffering involved in love
if we truly love another or ourselves or god we're setting ourselves up for very intense suffering
it'll be a meaningful and a purifying and enhancing suffering little should be suffering so a to have the courage to get in touch with all that this weekend
we had a superb psychologists to find benedictine of teachers at the menninger he said done basically each of us has above map and that can be understood in many levels but one of the photo ways to understand it is our own history our own salvation history again in terms of
he experiences we've had of love and experiences we haven't had of love and how to keep working on that so up i would hope it the meditations i offer artist of minimal part of this weekend
work and reflection and prayer
ah will be the main part of it and done
at this point now we might go through that little exercise its traditional in this kind of moment and that's for us briefly to introduce each other one to another so that we will be in some sense community and journey with each other so if each one of us might just have introduce ourselves may
be some just word or two about but brought us whether our expectations and up but is our understanding of love or whatever you want to save her and leaks
okay so i just i've heard lots of echo some similarities and just start they seek mysterious humanity but also like of differences and for some people the early years were a wonderfully warm informative in above and for others maybe there was abuse there
air and of even of destructive forces and when personal moves and it difficult and other personal moves and it's say up very rewarding experiences that of each one of us is so different according to our own history and background some people we were
work with and up so that in presenting a theme like this when as to be very careful i think because we might take maternal love as the basic prototype of what life is all about and what god is all about him but if someone has had an
extremely abusive mother to then that becomes problematic of i knew a man was a kennedy to be a monk year and he didn't persevere but he'd had the most dysfunctional to use that awkward of family specifically regarding his mother who had been into drugs and into prostitution and often in
shale and he was obviously such a wounded person so when we'd sometimes in our california liberation would talk about the maternal and how this humans and of fulfills the paternal of one could see the pain of his face on the other hand we know how from an obvious the guys
for whom of the father has been extremely abusive etc
so that that's not the way to go a picture like this if for some trust sum up the whole gospel and center of the prodigal son story but if you have done an abusive father it up that won't be too helpful and so with brothers and friends someone in my
family told me don't ever get too involved in friendship they'll betray you sooner or later and is really hurt me because my experience a print should have been quite different but i thought my god what has been no the that the sad suffering of this person so we're all peppered in this regard so
we all have different understandings of all these things are about especially in to parser kind of but models and prefiguring some of the ultimate love so what i'll try to do as a kind of a pastoral tactic here is kind of throw all kinds of things and maybe something will be
useful for you and maybe something quite different will be useful for you so it won't be precisely up systematic organic thing but got like the sword that casts all kinds of seat and vary widely and i'd say yep something just doesn't work for you just
acknowledge that you might take note of it that can be interesting why doesnt work but if something does work i go with that we can also very much should earn from what just doesn't work for us
when of of monks for a whose experience of the father has been so negative up he's been working for years unforgiving his father forgiveness has convention mentioned hard hard task when he succeeds it that it's a much greater achievement than when i succeeded because my father was basically very much
being a gentle and all the ways her trunk but up so this is the approach that our views and up of course in my particular talks will be lots of words and concepts zipped up a theories etc but love is pre rational and trams rational
so somehow just putting this picture here wanted at wants to try to get us beyond just thinking about twelve of cause so it's it's not in the thoughts when can have wonderful thoughts about love and not being a loving person or not be able to receive though so some
how as the up eastern orthodoxy we've got to descend from the head into the heart
and up on the other hand of as chesterton says nothing is more practical than a good theory so lobby is not so fragile and done and of evanescent the done if we if we rigorously explored it'll just double kind of crumble like a fragile butterfly or something
but he had some robust enough to on
to sustain a rigorous exploration and pondering discussion and debate and what on her business love so we don't want to exclude that we want to go into the irrational
but up i did we want to acknowledge that would we've done all are talking and thinking etc were just that at the beginning of it all and so i would hope in these days than you would be i'm open to all be
head of solicitations and invitations and revelations above might come from nature you feel old should talk about natural revelation and that of
natural revelation that is the ocean in the hill to the sky and somehow this is the way our loving god also wants to cha solas with the immensity and the depth than incredible variety of god's love that the mysterious aspects i does god create mosquitoes in done
a skunks and ten and we have mountain lions year we got dumb bunny rabbits who's quite a difference between a bunny rabbit in about lion what what did god have in mind how does this all come back to up to our theme of a guppy et cetera
and memories and poetry and whatever helps to claim this central and first and last value of reality and being
so i thought we might just say a few words about this it'll probably redundant of love what you thought of you who have read on the now in his book have already come across i have to see i haven't read so part of this is my own for this was talking with our own artist arthur lamb of
about the he is he is
but up
it's obviously very tender picture of someone who would never heard of the christian message would see an older man and enough younger man and some kind of tender embrace we would know it up as a jesus a story about father and son
history of it is that this is one of the last paintings rembrandt he thought his life had been a disaster because of his own lack of the going to his conscience to the christian gospel etc so he's very much in that picture in the of penitence of young man so it's about him
each about presumably each one of us somehow so it's very much up about are talking to ditch of show some of you might wanna just spend time in front of that to get into what is this love sometimes are profound art
of gets deeper into the thing that lots of words and theories etc
young the art critics note the to extraordinary hands of a loving father or small river where you stand oh this is great and a the of strong tough it's hard not to think of a male in here and
this is quite different and up long fingers more delicate so at least some scholars see and as tenderness so on of character of both even trivial actually turtle and on the back called the kind of a blessing the benediction
you've ever been to a consecration of ordination and saw my head but as is kind of laying on of hands and on the lack of his shoes weren't such a vote of his validity
and then have young man is without air is all and is it turns out that's apparently a artery says that weapon into context of in their lives country that time the shame them and sometimes also still it insane asylums it's a huge
cheap to get on with my son said dr another thing is the child in the new born babe
or any this phone is the fathers of this are smugglers head is a bike in was lost in is fine
in this intense red it's the way of life and prayer hundred go deep suffering which involve
the way out of the holy spirit
so it's a painting about rembrandt it's a painting by every one of us yes on paternal love to the
artist not presumably guys let me neither
the logically of the niche fathers and mothers side of the prodigal son jesus jesus who journeyed to a foreign country
and there was mainstream for us and then through suffering death and resurrection and ascension is able to journey back to the house of the father son jesus is the prodigal and in winches all of us
so again that can strike and a deep intuitive level up sometimes worry my theories etc i would suggest to you're pondering this and it might work particularly well for so many big up for brothers we other also write out the door had that huge icon of
mother and child mary and jesus
vladimir of inspired by the flat and or this is by one of our commander least none sister ana who's studied with the russian master but there's all kinds of things happening there also
mary as church mary as the feminine dimension of the divine etc jesus as obviously our savior but also as of each and every one of us and that brings a novel feminine so you might ponder that in these days all the time
nemec and then marry is kind of looking out at us inviting us to come in to the painting to receive christ of tenderly and lovingly as she does but there's a kind of a sorrow and or fitch he knows what that'll mean that turkey document kind of also crucify him son so this
sun as i say that can also be alarm meditation and then as you enter into the door of the church right in front of you is a another icon inspired by the famous ruby of trinity and the immediate subject is the three angels that desert abraham and sarah but dubbed the
fathers and mothers saw the denser prefiguring of the holy trinity that the success with those figures are kind of fun and rogers so we do have the feminine and masculine and yoder the younger and then the yet mysterious paid of trans male or female and the screen
the years there's a lot of dynamic and centered on a cup on eucharist and the scholars debate who's who's the son and who's the father and who's the spirit and and putridity it goes so beyond those ways of articulating the person's so of that's another resource
as soon as i say anything in the area of a poetry or music in these days but in the ongoing
films there is so powerful films that top explore this theme in his various dimensions
and so i'm just so we can play all of these resources so this is just to kind of bug begin are pondering meditation do think about your own journey involve and where you are this pointed where you want to go to think suppose you were to have to give a retreat like us
how would you organize it but which would focus on and what problems what do we mean by both what is it that embraces all these different dimensions and done what helps us distinguish your authentic christian and human love from the very ambiguous and dangerous counterfeits etc
and in the meantime of it's just turn the on and we might conclude with a prayer of but saint anselm and then maybe just stopped depart quietly
ah this is from st anselm's meditation on the redemption
lord make me taste by love what i taste by knowledge let me know by love what i know by understanding
draw me to you lord in the fullness of bob
i am wholly yours by creation make me all yours to in love