A Call to Life


from At the Fountain of Elijah
Wilfrid McGreal

The writer Chris O'Donnell is influenced by the theology of von Balthasar when he says that Thérèse has something to teach the post-Vatican II Church. If we want a renewed and missionary Church we need to move away from mere organisational and structural change and live love. We will see then the wonderful reality of the Communion of Saints and learn to understand how much worth there is in an act of pure love--in living the "Little Way". In her discipleship Thérèse is in many ways a wonderful window into the faith of Mary, whose unconditional trust lived through Calvary and then experience the fullness of the Resurrection.

I don't know about the theology of von Balthasar, or even about Thérèse as a mirror of the Blessed Virgin; however, one thing struck me right between the eyes. The only way to change the Church for the better is to live love. No amount of governmental change, or tinkering with rubrics, or modifying this, that, or the other discipline, or arguing the merits of one view of atonement over another, or, in fact any critical or supportive action will mean so much as transforming ourselves first. And by transforming ourselves, I mean the utter surrender to God's will that allows us to learn how to live love. I don't know what this statement means of myself. I know it only through the action of the Holy Spirit in the transformation of my person. I do not now live love. I don't even know how to live love. But I do know that I won't find out from however many books I read or lessons I study. I haven't grown beyond learning more about God in these ways, but I will never find out the essential quality for a life pleasing to God, because this is learned only at the School of His Holy Word, in the presence of Christ the Lord. Unlike the disciples, I must learn to stay awake and heed His teachings. Only in complete attention to Him do I even learn the meaning of love. The phrase God is Love is utterly meaningless without living His life. I can make guesses at what the words mean, but it is only in my living them out that they come to the fullness of meaning. And that may only happen when I turn everything over to God. I learn love by being Love--that is the only sufficient school.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 11, 2006 9:33 AM.

The Mystery of Redemption was the previous entry in this blog.

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