“Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I really need it.” Swedish Proverb
“… he who cannot love is the most unhappy man of all.” Søren Kierkegaard
“Strong hate, the hate that takes joy in hating, is strong because it does not believe itself to be unworthy and alone. It feels the support of a justifying God, of an idol of war, an avenging and destroying spirit. From such blood-drinking gods the human race was once liberated, with great toil and terrible sorrow, by the death of a God Who delivered Himself to the Cross and suffered pathological cruelty of His own creatures out of pity for them. In conquering death He opened their eyes to the reality of a love which asks no questions about worthiness, a love which overcomes hatred and destroys death. But men have now come to reject this divine revelation of pardons and they are consequently returning to the old war gods, the gods that insatiably drink blood and eat the flesh of men. It is easier to serve the hate-gods because they thrive on the worship of collective fanaticism. To serve the hate-gods, one has only to be blinded by collective passion. To serve the God of Love one must be free, one must face the terrible responsibility of the decision to love in spite of all unworthiness whether in oneself or in one’s neighbor.” Thomas Merton
“For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks….” Rainer Maria Rilke
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.” Brené Brown
“One learns to love God by loving men and women.” Charles deFoucauld
“What value has compassion that does not take its object in its arms?” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“Love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Moving From Head to Heart
- Where do you need to practice a love “which asks no questions about worthiness?” Who do you need to take into your arms in compassion?
- Is God teaching you to love him as you give yourself to “the most difficult of all tasks” – loving someone else?
- Are you able to love yourself when you “least deserve it?” Can you extend to yourself the grace you extend to others?
- Do you see “collective passion/fanaticism” at work in your religion or politics?
God of love for the undeserving, work you love in me.
For More: New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and God seeks you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)