This is a translation of part of the Orthodox priest Lev Gillet’s 1971 book Amour Sans Limites. You can read a little more here. And you can learn more about Father Lev Gillet (1893-1980) here.
I am your Lord, the Lord of Love. Do you want to enter into the life of Love?
This is not an invitation to some realm of tepid tenderness. It is a calling to enter into the burning flame of Love. There alone is true conversion: conversion to incandescent Love.
Do you wish to become someone other than you have been, someone other than you are? Do you wish to be someone who lives for others, and first of all for that Other and with that Other who calls all things into being? Do you wish to be a brother to all, a brother to the entire world?
Then hear what my Love speaks to you.
My child, you have never known who you really are. You do not yet know yourself. I mean, you have never really known yourself to be the object of my Love. As a result, you have never known who you are in me, or all the potential within yourself.
Awake from this sleep and its bad dreams! In certain moments of truth, you see nothing in yourself but failures and defeats, set-backs, corruption, and perhaps even crimes. But none of that is really of you. It is not your true “me,” the most profound expression of your true self.
Beneath and behind all that, deeper than all your sin, transgressions and lacks, my eyes are upon you. I see you, and I love you. It is you that I love. It’s not the evil you do – the evil that we can neither ignore nor deny nor lessen (is black actually white?). But underneath it all, at a greater depth, I see something else that is still very much alive.
The masks you wear, the disguises you adopt might well hide you from the eyes of others – and even from your own eyes. But they cannot hide you from me. I pursue you even there where no one has ever pursued you before.
Your deceptive expression, your feverish quest for excitement, your hard and avaricious heart – all of that I separate from you. I cut it away and cast it far off from you.
Hear me. No one truly understands you. But I understand you. I can speak about you such wonderful, marvelous things! I can say these things about you. Not about the “you” that the powers of darkness have so often led astray, but about the “you” who is as I desire you to be, the “you” who dwells in my thoughts as the object of my love. I can say these things about the “you” who can still be what I want you to be, and to be so visibly.
about Todd FlowerdayA Roman Catholic lay person, married (since 1996), with one adopted child (since 2001). I serve in worship and spiritual life in a midwestern university parish.
about John Donaghy
John is a lay missionary since 2007 with a parish in western Honduras. Before that he served in campus ministry and social justice ministry in Iowa. His ministry blog is http://hermanojuancito.blogspot.com
He also blogs reflections on the lectionary and saints/heroes/events of the date at http://walktheway.wordpress.com
He'll be a long-term contributor here analyzing the Latin American bishops' document from their 2007 Aparecida Conference.
Vatican II pages
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