The past several weeks we've been reading from First Corinthians at Matins. I had felt guilty that I wasn't writing much, but so much has been going on! Then we read Chapters 12 and 13. Paul is describing the variety of gifts in the Church, stressing that all are needed. Then he crowns that with his chapter on love. No matter which gifts I bring, if I don't have love I'm nothing and my gifts are nothing.
This helped me. The commitments that have kept me from writing, I realized, have come from my increasing capacity to love those near at hand. I'm more involved with people in face-to-face work, doing more community formation, trying to live the balanced and sane life our Covenant calls us to. So sometimes my writing takes a back seat. I suddenly saw that rather than being a problem, there's an invitation to listen with love, to listen to love, and do what is needed.
Don't get me wrong. I "love" to reflect and write, and I feel such fondness for those of you who write back or respond. But lives shift, concerns and needs and context shift, and those shifts call us to let go as well as take up. I'm still writing, though not often. But I'm thrilled beyond measure that some other calls, calls that brought me into religious life 18 years ago, are finally manifesting.
When I left New Mexico for the convent in 2000, I told people I was ready for the advanced course on love. Wrong! I was a mere beginner. But living in community taught me how far I have to go. Continuing this life as a Companion of Mary the Apostle is working on me. I'm still not ready for the advanced course, but I'm making progress.
As we head toward Holy Week and the supreme acts of God's love, I invite you to be looking for the love you give and the love you withhold, or don't know how to give yet. God will teach us, if we ask. But, as Jesus knew, love is a risky and painful business. Asking to love is asking for trouble.
May you be blessed with trouble this season, and rise to new life in Christ.