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Selfishness Consumed in Unquenchable Love

May 4, 2009

John of the Cross. Brilliant. I’m not sure if there’s much else to say than that.

I am presently three days into “a 40-day journey in the company of John of the Cross”. The book, “You Set My Spirit Free”, is arranged and paraphrased by David Hazard. I do not yet know what days 4-40 hold, but if they are anything like days 1-3, I think this one is worth searching out.

The words of today’s reading are still drifting along the surface of my thoughts. Here are a couple of sentences that nicely convey the general message of this chapter:

“The more we allow love to enter, the more we grow to love others with our whole will–even when they treat us miserably.”

“I tell you, acting in love when others are not acting in love toward you–this is of the highest value to your soul.”

And I am utterly convinced.

This is where the Holy Spirit has been leading me… into love. He is teaching me to desire the most excellent way. He is exposing my selfishness, my coldness, my impatience, my bitterness, and the ways “I barricade and protect myself against others… and mostly against [Him].” (Borrowing that quote from an ouchy little prayer at the end of the chapter.) He is tenderizing my icy heart with the flame of His love. Opening my heart to Him, exposing it to that fire, is the wisest thing I can do. I am so grateful for His leadership.

That is why I am being so deeply moved by today’s reading. It simply and beautifully articulates the lessons that my Teacher has been so persistently unfolding in these last months. The Spirit of Truth has not relented in drawing my stubborn, calloused, and weak heart into wisdom. And amidst the tears and the immense pain of the journey, He has continually manifested Himself as my Comforter and the source of life, the One who sustains and enables me.

Holy Spirit, teach me! You are able to present me faultless. You know how to lead me. Do not relent until You bring it to completion. I commit my way to You. You who are able and faithful. Your words are faithful and true. Bring them to pass.

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