Yesterday, I was able to watch one of the Pivotal Players DVD’s from The Word on Fire, by Bishop Robert Barron. It was the story of St. Catherine of Siena. She was a remarkable mystic of the Church, named a Doctor of the Church, yet she was not educated in Theology, and could barely read or write. Yet, in the middle ages she was able to talk directly to Pope Gregory and she persuaded him to move back to Rome. How did she, as a woman, have so much power? She had experiences of being with Jesus Christ, Mary, and other saints. Her prayer life was extraordinary. As Bishop Barron puts it, “She was in love with Jesus Christ.” She had a union, a marriage, an intimacy with Jesus rarely witnessed on earth.
Have you ever been in love? Do you remember the feelings, emotions, and desires that accompanied the beginning of that love? There was a need and desire to be with that person 24/7. There were emotions of exoducy, pleasure, and contentment when with the person. Looking forward to seeing the person was driven by high pleasurable moments. Can you imagine if we were falling in love with Jesus Christ? We would want to be with him 24/7, feel pleasure in his presence, and exoducy in his words of ever lasting life with him. Being in the presence of the Eucharist would knock us off our feet.
Love moves from that stage of infatuation and intensity to settle into comfort. Loving that person becomes comfortable, gentle, and pleasing. The feelings change from passion, extremes, and intensity, to relaxing, and acceptance. An underlying foundation of unconditional love has begun to surface and being with that person feels like being home. Can you imagine if we settled into that love with Jesus Christ? If the intensity waned, yet what takes it’s place is comfort, peace, and acceptance. We would feel that he would catch us, comfort us, and keep us all the days of our lives and beyond because he would love us with unconditional love.
Again, love moves into a depth that is almost parental, or rather selfless. After decades of marriage and raising children, experiencing the ups and downs of life’s great accomplishments and disappointments, you are and still want to be together. Love is beyond emotion, intensity, it is more than the foundation, and structure of home. It has become who you are. You are part of the other person willing the good of the other person. You are no longer seeking for self but for the other. Can you imagine if the love we felt for Jesus Christ were like this marriage, that he accompanied us through the trials and joys of life, through our creations, and experiences and we knew that what we desired most was to do his will and no longer our own? That our life is no longer our life but living for Jesus Christ?
Can you imagine what your life would look like? Who you would be? How you would live? Can you imagine falling in love with Jesus Christ?