He who learns must suffer, and, even in our sleep, pain that we cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. - Aeschylus

Friday, November 27, 2015

Love it to Death: The Wounds of Love

I am wounded by my love.  I am wounded by my love each day, and not only in those moments of profound heartbreak from which flow the tears of love.  These wounds cover my body with the many small scars which result from the risks of bodily injury I take to accomplish what is necessary to provide for the needs of those I love.  These wounds pepper my heart with the holes left behind from the loss of the love of those I love as they have passed out of my life, sometimes passing into the next.

This is true of all of us who have loved and lost, for all mothers who have suffered the wounds of miscarriage and childbirth, for all fathers who have stood with wounded hearts at the graves of their sons killed in battle, for all children who have cried at the death of those who sacrificed so much to raise them, for every spouse who has grieved for a divorce or a death of their spouse.  It is true in each moment for all the young ones who fall in love with someone who cannot be theirs, for all the siblings who yearn for a deeper relationship with their brothers and sisters, for all those who are alone and friendless.

It is also true for those who are still wounded by our lack of love for those who are made in His image, and for those turned away by the lack of love of its members from the Church who is the Bride of Christ, She who would be Mother to all who are wounded.  The Church is the Mother who brings all the willing to the divine Physician, Christ who alone can heal the deepest wounds of the heart which yearns for the divine love, for every human heart which was made to rest in Him.  It is Christ who lived and died the life of the cross who showed us the path to healing, the via dolorosa.

Christ showed us that our glory lies not in assiduously avoiding all wounds, but rather in accepting our wounding for the sake of the love, in embracing our wounds as a sign of love we bear for all those made in the imago dei, and in looking upon the wounds of others as a symbol of their familial relationship with Christ who showed us how to live fully with great wounds.  Christ reached out with love to those who were wounded, understanding that those who are wounded for love are His least brothers and sisters to whom we should minister in love, that it is all the wounded for whom He came to be wounded on the Cross.

Christ who is Love showed us that to participate in divine love is to be wounded by those we love, that Love reconciles us to Himself in offering healing to us by His wounds.  We are made whole in love by the wounds of Love whose body and heart were broken for us, the Son who died that we might have life eternal with Him in Paradise.  It is through the wounds of Love that we are adopted into the divine household, washed clean in the precious Blood which flowed from the precious Body of the Son whose existence sprung from the eternal font of the Father's infinite love.

It was Christ who showed us that to be fully human is to be wounded and healed, and that it is precisely our wounds that demonstrate that we are healed, and what's more, that we are gloriously alive!  It is in our being wounded for the sake of love that we have life most abundantly as living icons of the Body of Christ, in laying down our lives for the good of our beloved that we shine all the more brightly as an image of God, reflecting the light of His love into the world.

It is by the wounds of love taken as we travel on the via dolorosa that we gradually love to death those parts of us which are not compatible with existence in Him who is Love.  It is by the wounds of love that we die to sin, all sin which is missing the mark of love's target, and grow to live in the light of Love by which we see clearly the heavenly household which is His target for us to reach by cooperating with His grace.

It is by the wounds of love that we are cleansed so that we can enter under His roof, our wounds healed by the wounds of Love, our hearts finding their final rest in Him for whose love we were made.

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