His love first

I would like to ramble a little about the love of God, please bear with me.

The place of complete love, is the body of Christ. It is broken, bruised, bloody, naked, transfigured in light, holy, resurrected, immersed in God, humble, raised up, simple, ridiculous, shocking, terrifying, vulnerable, pierced, and spread open for all. Here is the complete, unconditional gift.

However lowly you are, Jesus is below you. Upon the cross, his arms are open wide to embrace you; his flesh is exposed and his blood pours out, so that nothing is kept from you; and there is a hole in his side, so you may enter his heart. However rejected you are, Christ is more. However far you are from God, however beaten to a pulp your soul, Christ is with you even in your spiritual destitution. For our sakes, he became sin. Don’t let that be explained away or watered down.

The Word of God was made one with humanity, with suffering, failure, sin, and death, that all of these may be resurrected in him. He gives himself perfectly, that we may receive him, and so give ourselves perfectly in him.

To receive his love, to receive him, is the first thing. Lately I’ve become so caught up in myself, trying to bring love, to give myself, to give God, that I have neglected to look to receiving his love. Not that I’ve been working hard and neglecting prayer. I was trying to “spiritually” be a servant of God, set on doing his will. But this was impossible, insofar as I neglected to look to God as my saviour, as the one who loves me truly. “By this we know love- that he laid down his life for us.” [1Jn 3:16]

I had made the mistake of looking to the cross primarily as the work I must join; that I must love and suffer for the world with Jesus. This is true, but we must be united to the cross, to the body of Christ, as our salvation first, and consequently as our vocation. By our lowliness, our sin, our death, we enter Jesus’ body, broken and given up for us in complete love. Only then, may we be the body of Christ, the place of complete love. “We love, because he first loved us.” [1Jn 4:19] Once we receive his love, once we are united to him, our very existence in him means being given up for others, united to his holy cross.

To guard against this mistake, we ought to be keenly aware, that we need salvation constantly. It is not singular events, but a continuous reliance on Christ crucified. We never move on from salvation, but live it out, work it out, in God’s grace.

God bless you

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4 comments

  1. This is great and right up there with one of your best!!! I just did a post on the ongoing process of salvation. I wish I would have read this first, it could have helped me so much.

    My favorite paragraph in this post is the second one. Talk about a contemplation for us all!!!! You outdid yourself and you can see and hear the Holy Spirit in every single word you wrote. Thanks so much for sharing and God Bless, SR

    Like

    1. Thank you :)
      I stole the bit about Jesus’ arms etc. from St. Bonaventure. I didn’t have the passage handy at the time, and didn’t want to disrupt the flow, but this is what he wrote:
      ‘Christ on the cross bows his head waiting for you, that he may kiss you; His arms outstretched, that he may embrace you, his hands are open, that he may enrich you; his body spread out, that he may give himself totally; his feet are nailed, that he may stay there; his side is open for you, that he may let you enter there.’
      You’re welcome! God bless you also

      Like

      1. And an extra bonus with that quote! Beautiful post and good reminder. We cannot love anyone unless we first let God love us, bringing to Him all of our faults and failings, as Jesus unites our suffering with his upon the Cross. And then we are healed, and then we are made whole, and then we are renewed and raised up.

        Happy Easter!
        Pax Christi
        Christina

        Liked by 1 person

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