from Nicholas of Cusa
But to love Christ most ardently is to hasten toward him by spiritual movement, for he is not only lovable but is love itself. When by the steps of love the spirit hastens to love itself, it is engulfed in love itself not temporally but above all time and all worldly movement.
Love of God is entry into the eternal. We pass from the linear, temporal movement into eternity when we abandon ourselves entirely to God. Abandoning to God means entering Love. To do so means leaving the self behind in a radical way. We cannot enter Love wrapped with all the things normally use to protect ourselves. Among these are the masks, the lies, the stories we tell about ourselves. These must be purified and burned away. The last vestige of them must be eradicated. The Holy Spirit within works with each of us to purify and refine. Trials, temptations, adversity, turmoils, and all manner of difficulties prove us. They transform us (if we are faithful) gradually into the image of Love--for only Love can enter Love. This indeed is the principle of purgatory--nothing "unclean", nothing that is not pure Love can enter heaven because it would be destroyed and with it the soul that bears that impurity. It is not a punishment, but a spiritual law. So, in our earthly lives, we need to recognize and embrace the trials sent us--they are the gifts God has seen fit to give us to make us more like Him. When we do so we being to live a mysterious life of grace. The world is transformed (more accurately our ability to perceive is transformed) and suddenly, we can see God in places where we would never have thought to look for Him. St. Francis saw Him in nature and the world around Him. Mother Teresa recognized Him within the persons of the impoverished and dying. This gift is the gift of eternity, of heaven on Earth, of love and transformation, and of enthusiastic service of God toward our fellow human beings. This gift is, as Ms. Knapp so aptly described the other day, "The Pearl of Great Price" which once purchased does not count what was spent, but merely exults in the magnificence and beauty of the Pearl.