Monday, August 13, 2018

To Be Alive Is to Love

Love is a very dark stream flowing in the inmost recesses of one's being as Teilhard de Chardin says, silent yet alive, powerful yet gentle, a source of unexplainable energy leading to ecstatic delight and woeful depression. Love is, as the saying goes, "a many-splendored thing," though, of course, it can also be a many-forked thing. Love evokes cries of delight, cries of equal anguish. Love is what makes us most alive, and, as the song goes, we are "born to be alive." So, to be alive, that is to love. Yet we don't know it! Infuriating as it may be, we cannot encounter it in a fleeting moment, with the flick of a switch. It takes time – and in a time-conscious environment that can be a disqualifier. Nevertheless, that is what it takes – time. And it takes a willingness to descend into the lower depths and there discover not a bright light, but a stream, a dark stream that is incomprehensible, as the anonymous author of long ago so well put it in The Cloud of Unknowing.

Francis W. Vanderwall, S.J.
Excerpted from Water in the Wilderness
(Paulist Press, 1985, p. 57)

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
What We Mean by Love
The Choice (and Risk) That Is Love
Love as "Quest and Daring and Growth"
The Holy Pleasure of Intimacy
"There's Light in Love, You See"
Our Lives as LGBTQI People: "Garments Grown in Love"
Like a Sure Thing
Love Is My Guide
Love at Love's Brightest
The Longing for Love: God's Primal Beatitude
"Make Us Lovers, God of Love"
The Many Manifestations of God's Loving Embrace
Meeting (and Embodying) The Lover God

Image: Subjects and photographer unknown.

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