I was walking along a beach recently (one of my sacred spaces) and there it was – a beautiful flower just lying on the sand. No doubt dropped by some wedding party or proposal bearing fiancée or simply cast by some pilgrim hoping to make my day. Thank you.
It stopped me in my tracks. It captured my attention. It brought me into the present moment. It reminded me of life and of love.
As a young man I thought that as a celibate man I knew nothing of love. Nothing could be further from the truth. We all know love – if we choose to open eyes, open hands, open hearts. But this knowing asks us to risk, to let go, to unclench fists and to step out into the unknown. This stepping out needs to be done again and again for you don’t just ‘fall in love’ once and that is it. No, love is that energy that invites acceptance and dance over and over and over again. Love is that choice that requires nurture over and over again. Love is that pilgrim heart at home in the storm, the sunrise, the ordinary and the extraordinary, the mundane and the dangerous, the one and the all. Love, like service, is other centred and therein lays the paradox for “in giving we receive!”
Pedro Arrupe was a simple Spanish priest – a Jesuit. He once wrote:
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
Life is too short and oh so precious. If you don’t do anything today – “fall in love” with beauty and the ordinary, the friend and the pilgrim, the simple and the extraordinary, your partner or the pauper and make the simple choice over and over again to “stay in love”. When you do, your eyes will sparkle, it will all make sense and even the apparently ordinary will become ‘sacred ground!’
Thanks, Damien, beautifully written and expressed as always. I love your link between love and service being other’s centred and and the paradox of ‘in giving we receive.’ Pedro Arrupe is one of my heroes.
Thanks Eamonn really appreciate your care and support. God bless, Damien
Beautiful post, dear Damien…
Beautiful, thoughtful and well written.