Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jesus Loves Me

A famous Catholic theologian, whose name escapes me right now, was once asked about the most profound thought he had ever had. He said it was simply "Jesus loves me."Isn't it crazy to consider that in the whole visible creation, you are the most priceless work of art to him? Even when we take the brush of self-determination he's given us and deface this work of God, smearing the paint of pride in garrish colors across the canvas of our lives, the Master still sees the good in us, and our potential for reaching our purpose: finding our home in his heart again. I think the Father sees with "Jesus-colored glasses." I think from the beginning He knew that Jesus would be that bridge for us, that "human face of God" so that we could remember the "Divine face of man." St. Paul says this was always the plan, that in the fullness of time, all things be summed up in Christ, brought to completion, recapitulated! The Father always knew that our Ring of Power and self-absorbtion would be broken, undone, and remade into a Cross with beams that could reach out to all the world (thanks Peter Kreeft for that analogy!)Jesus loves me. Not like my aunt or my grandpa, or Sr. Nativitas from grade school (that brief year or two in Catholic school, and I still remember her name!) Jesus loves me with a wild fire in his eyes, with a burning torch atop his sacred heart. His love is a blazing inferno! What a tragedy that he is pictured as an anemic, pasty "nice man" in so many insipid cartoons and films today. Scripture and human experience have painted him quite differently - a Lion, an Earthquake, a Hound of Heaven, a Thief, a King, Hunter, Husband, a Living Flame of Love. I am nearly 40 years old now, and I am just starting to see the real Jesus. It's a bit scary to be loved this much. It's actually shocking. I sit there in my chair drinking coffee every morning, reading those gospel stories, and sometimes the thought comes like a blast of wind through the old dusty alleyways of my mind; Jesus loves me. And I sometimes get the sense that he is knocking on more doors than just one. That since I let him in back at the age of 15 or so, he's been exploring other rooms, deeper levels of me than I ever knew I had. St. Theresa of Avila spoke of these rooms in our "interior castles." Jesus comes to love us in every one of them, and always as a gentlemen; he knocks first. I think this love then, elicits our response. Will I let him in? And how far? Let's go beyond the foyer, past the pews of our Sunday "obligation"... Right into the tabernacle of His Presence among us! Into that heart of fire!Let's ask ourselves: Where is he knocking today? What door can I open to this God of love?
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