Thursday 9 January 2014

The delicateness of God's love

An interesting description of love from the great theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar:
“But love does not urge itself or its self-giving upon the beloved.” It even regulates its degree of self-giving. “To love with all our strength does not mean indiscriminately to drag into the house and cast at the feet of the beloved all the outward and inward gifts we possess. To do so might prove embarrassing to the beloved. At the very least, it would be indiscreet and might well result in the rejection and return of these untimely gifts. This does not mean that love cannot from time to time offer a gift of friendship, perhaps as a surprise. But, for the most part, the gift proper to it is to place itself and all it possesses at the disposal of the beloved, allowing him to decide, to choose, what will be given him. This presumes, on the part of the one who loves, a disposition of self-giving that is no less perfect than that required for a literal and voluntary renunciation of all one’s possessions.” [The Christian State of Life (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1983) 54-55.] 
The point is that this is a description of love at its best, perfect love. This is how, in other words, God loves us. His love is so delicate that he will not indiscriminately drag into the house and cast at our feet all that he possesses. He waits, he surprises us now and then, he allows us to choose, even when we have already said some sort of Yes to him. No wonder Scripture speaks of the patience of God.

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