The Difficult Love (5)

So, as I said yesterday, for many of us, the most difficult love is to love ourselves, to love ourselves as Christ loves us. to let ourselves be loved by Christ.  It is the easiest thing to do, but it is the hardest thing to do.  It is the easiest because God always loves us no matter what, always, always.  It is the hardest thing for us to do because we simply don’t believe it and always find excuses to not make ourselves vulnerable to Him.  We think we need to prove ourselves, we’re afraid of being hurt and disappointed, we just don’t believe it.  Some of the best things in life–in fact, the best thing–are free.

So, what to do?  Just simply turn towards that Love.  I know, easier said than done.  He is always turned toward you and will never turn away.  My prayer is that today, right at this moment, you can do this simple–but seeming difficult–thing.

Lastly, there is the difficulty of remembering that, in this necessarily interior language of self and heart, the first and last words are the God who loves us, ‘a Divine Love who is always seeking the human heart.’ It is easy to evade this, to transfer focus too quickly to what we think we must do next, to those obligations  to others to which we never seem to measure up.  And this is competing against a standard which surreptitiously we are in fact setting for ourselves.  There may not be a malicious vanity here, but there is a vanity all the same.  isn’t one of the big barriers to prayer our inhibition about accepting the love Jesus has for each one of us as we are?  (Mark Allen, quoted in Ruth Burrows, Letters on Prayer, p. 21)

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