Melting by Therese of Lisieux
Your Love shines like the summer sun
To melt ice-clad humanity;
This furnace of the Triune One
Burns with a perfect constancy.
Your Love yields love with healing rays
In souls that bask under the shine;
With humble gratitude and praise,
They pulse love back to the Divine.
Love yields new life, with strengthened hope,
To serve with patient, grateful love.
She finds new strength to heal and cope;
Despite her state, she looks above.
The icy rains soon melt away;
Warmed from within, her strength will stay.
May the Love of God strengthen and instill new life in us.
For many of us, we tend to confuse love with emotions. But if the emotions are not there, is it still possible to love? For Therese of Liseux, the answer is yes!
Despite receiving no consolations from her relationship with God in the last years of her life, Therese continued to pursue and love God during her “dark night.” Ahern states, loving God for Therese was not to be confused with an “emotional experience”. 51
Her love for God and His love for her was the “central reality of Therese’s life”, says Ahern He later says, “The whole purpose of her earthly life was to love God and make Him loved.”
She asked her friend Maurice to pray the following for her: “I ask you to set my sister on fire with Your Spirit of Love, and to grant her the grace of making You deeply loved.” Therese understood that because God had drawn her to His love, it was natural that she herself would draw others to love Him.
I love the prayer she sent Maurice “I ask of you Jesus, a heart that loves you, a heart that cannot be conquered, always ready for battle after each tempest, a heart that is free, never seduced, a heart that is straight and never walks on crooked paths.”
Another post from my friend whose wife died recently. He writes following a family gathering and remembrances of his wedding day. Even in the midst of his pain and grief, he is ministering to others by his writing. Amazing really.
I’m learning about the nature of love and God’s love for me. He experienced this pain and sorrow and separation when He chose to give Jesus for one such as me. He chose that path for the opportunity for me to know Him and to become part of His family. I never would have chosen this path, but He chose it because of the joy set before Him and the hope of an eternity of he with me and I with Him.
I’m learning that one of my “tasks” of becoming, one of the “big blocks” is about rooting my identity more firmly, more deeply in the Lord Jesus. He’s the strong, safe and secure anchor of my heart and soul. The boat of my life surges up and down, to and fro – battered by the storms of this present season, but the anchor of hope holds fast to Jesus – the author and the perfector of my faith. what a gift from Him.
May you find Him as true and sure in the trials you are experiencing today.
Just did a quick read this morning of an Oswald Chambers’ book, The Love of God. Actually, it is a series of small books written in the 1930s but put together in this volume in 1973. We are sorting through old books in our library and in our center and I thought this is one might be an interesting read. There are a couple of posts here.
First, what is love? In thinking about “God is love” from 1 John, Chambers provides the following definition
Love is the sovereign preference of my person for another person, embracing everyone and everything in that preference. 21
Now that I think about it, we talk a lot about love but few would ever give a definition. I think that the definition of love given here entails a level of committment that few would mean when they say, “I love you.”
In the previous chapter, Chambers had commented on the phrase from Jude 21, “keep yourselves in the love of God.” He makes a point to say that Jude does NOT say “keep on loving God,” because “none can do that.” Of course, we are to do both, aren’t we? “We love him because he first loved us,” says John in 1 John 4:19. Maybe it is an order of priority, one that we evangelicals easily get mixed up? Chambers writes,
When once you have understood the truth about your heart’s own sinfulness, think not again of it, but look at the great, vast, illimitable magnificence of the love of God. Oh may we be driven, driven further and further out into the ocean of the love of God! only taking care that nothing entices us out again.
May we all enjoy floating or soaking in God’s love this day!
Lovely thoughts from Thomas Merton, Nov 4 from A Year with Thomas Merton
This morning, I was preparing . . . in the woods as usual. It was cold but the sun came up and melted the frost. It was quiet except for the crows. I sat on an old chair under the skinny cedars, with my feet in the brown, frosty, grass, and reflected on the errors of my monastic life. They are many and I am in the midst of them. I have never seen so many mistakes and illusions. It should be enough that God loves me. For His love is greater than anything else. It is the beginning and end of all. By it and for it all things were created. Yet, outside of His love, I am tempted to erect a cold house of my own devising–a house that is small enough to contain my own self, and that is easier to understand than His incomprehensible love and His providence. Why is it we must be afraid of Mystery, as if the Mystery of God’s love were not infinitely simple and infinitely clear? Why do we run away from Him into the dark, which, to us, is light? There is the other mystery of sin, which no one understands. Yet we act as if we understood sin and as if we were really aware of the love of God when we have never deeply experienced the meaning of either one.”
Put this up as a page last week by mistake and am now re-posting.
Continuing to read in a Kempis’ Imitation of Christ and was struck by the following words all from Book1:17.
If you would stand surely in grace, and profit much in virtue, consider yourself as an exile and a pilgrim here in this life, and be glad, for the love of God, to be considered in the world as a foolish and an unworthy person, as you are.
Living in a foreign country, it is not too hard to understand the first part of this quote but the latter part of this sentence I find quite a challenge. I would much rather be considered intelligent, competent, valuable and significant but for the love of God, can I give that up? That is where I am just now and I guess I have been fighting it.
A Kempis goes on to talk about those in religious communities, or what I would call those of us who might be considered spiritual leaders.
He who seeks any other thing in religion than God alone and the salvation of his soul will find nothing there but trouble and sorrow; he will not remain there long in peace and quiet who does not labor to be the least and subject to all.
Ouch! This message keeps getting repeated over and over these past months. Finally, a Kempis concludes this chapter. When he talks about religion but in my context, I would not say religion (too often perceived as man’s attempt to reach out to God) but spiritual service in the body of Christ.
It is good, therefore to remember often that you came to religion to serve and not to be served, and that you are called in religion to suffer and to labor, and not to tell vain tales. . . no person in religion can remain long in grace and virtue unless he will humble himself with all his heart for the love of God.
Our church sent us a new CD by their worship leader, Tim Suel, on his new CD, Come Like the Fall. It is awesome. I can play one of his song, “Take Me”, over and over. It is about the overwhelming love of Jesus. It makes me want to enter into the presence of Jesus and just sit there and enjoy Him. Looked for the lyrics somewhere but they don’t seem to be anywhere. It is not an original composition so maybe that is the problem. He talks about it on his website–written by a 19 year old! If I can find more words I will re-post this. But here is the first stanza to give you a taste. You can order the CD on his website–I am sure he gets more money that way but of course you can also go onto itunes if you got to have it now!
Sweet Jesus, my lover
my passion, my desire
Your love consumes me oh God
When I feel your touch
I can’t help to feel in love with you
all over again.