Oh Lord, purify me, make me a chalice in which you dwell, offer your sacrifice in me and spread your love through me. Let me shine like gold, adorn me with the jewels of virtue that I may always be open to you. Fill me. Overflow me. Let me be like that most perfect vessel, the Singular Vessel of Devotion, She to whom I cry for protection against the Evil One. I ask this for your glory, for the vessel is nothing without the sustenance inside, the cup nothing unless it is filled. Oh Lord, purify me.

Give me a word, Abba

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Intellect and Love

Oftentimes, we don't understand things. We don't understand God. We don't understand why we do things we shouldn't (cf. Romans 7) We also don't understand why Dominos makes such a great pan pizza, but all their other pizzas are terrible.

One of the main things we don't understand is love. God Himself is Love, so this sort of makes sense. Our intellects can grasp the existence of God, although in a very limited way, but we can only know God personally and love him through His Revelation of Himself, specifically the Incarnation. His love is only understandable through His actions in our lives. We can not force our brain to be clear on this subject.

And if we are to love God in return, we can not force our brains to be clear on that either. It is hard to know how to love each other, but it is especially hard to know how to love God. But knowledge comes not merely through working through a problem in your head, especially since our heads are full of thousands of conflicting messages, emotions, thoughts. Knowledge is only complete through actions, understanding is achieved through charity.

We often become confused because our brain is telling us two things at once: "I totally want that burger from Burger King." and "Wow, that is a disgusting thought." Or perhaps, "I want to reconcile with my friend who caused me great pain," and "But jeepers, he caused me such pain and I don't know if I want to be his friend anymore." It makes it harder when there is no closure to the pain, no resolution, and seemingly none on the horizon. But LOVE is not a thought. Love is not even merely a desire. If we truly wish to forgive, to love, to find clarity, we must decide to act. We mustn't let our pain dictate our decision to forgive.

But it is not we who act alone, for because of our fallen nature, we need supernatural grace to close the gap between what we ought to do and what we can do on our own. Perhaps, as St. Thomas Aquinas says, in our pre-fall state, we could have forgiven by our very nature, but we must above all ask God's grace to descend upon us and grant us the ability to forgive and love, not only those who have hurt us, but also ourselves for having hurt others.

We can not force our minds into a clear picture of love, for it is only focused by the grace of God acting in our lives. It is up to us to allow this grace in, like light which can illuminate our darkened intellect. And the grace is from a God of Love, and thus a God who acts always for our good, not merely desires it. If we are to imitate him, we can not just want to love, but through his grace we must truly love through our actions.

Love is a tough business, and it's often fraught with confusion, but if we hold on to our Queen and ask for her aid, she will dispense that grace just as she gave us the Source of Grace in the greatest act of Love in human history.

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