I left home one Saturday morning to meet a friend for an early breakfast. The sun had just risen, there were no cars roaming and barely anyone on the sidewalks.
All still and all calm.
The seven minute walk to the bus stop left me a strange but glorious feeling. A feeling of transparency, of nakedness, of “brute” existence, and the lightness of a feather. Reflecting on that curious feeling over the course of the week which followed, I realized its significance. What I experienced was the Christian call to love, precisely, in the measure of giving yourself away freely.
We’re commanded, as Christians, to do one basic thing: to love God with all our heart, soul and mind. Presupposing this, however, is the call to love others because it is in the measure that we love others that we love God, the One who first loved us.
I try to explain myself.
Loving others is being transparent yourself, being naked, and embracing your existence, not as an object of the many forces of causation like Spinoza. It is none but our brute (irrational) existence of nothingness in the sight of God, which, at the same time, is our greatest existence, one of dignity and deserving of great respect and love which permits us to do so.
For to carry out any action at all necessitates the ceasing of carrying out another action. For example, to sit down and talk to a friend requires that I stop listening to music. Love can be seen this way, but it is no mere action. Love is a virtue, charity of the highest sort. Holiness is the perfection of Charity and our ability to love God in the manner it is due.
In this respect, then, to love, requires us to put away many things – essentially, all things including ourselves. This is why Love is always about the other. It requires us to give ourselves away freely.
Freely as a feather gives itself to wind.
Freely as a feather gives itself away to beautiful sunshine.
Freely as a feather gives itself away to light rain.
Freely as a feather gives itself to thunder and storms.
Freely as a feather gives itself to trampling and destruction.
Unlike the feather, however, we do not cease to be after all. Unlike the feather, we are alive, and we can, in fact be alive at each instant of our existence for others and for God.
We, through all these changes in weather, learn to love God. God, who is our highest prize for our existence, our reason for existence, the redemption of our existence and finally He, through whom, we live and move, and have our being (Acts 17:28).
This is how we can approach loving others. This is how we can approach giving ourselves away freely.