I’m still ruminating on how discipleship plays out in our lives; I’d like to try a thought out for you:
Yesterday, I wrote this in another journal:
“Focusing on the action alone reveals a faith of human determinism — “YOU can love your neighbor!” Focusing on the soul that produces the good fruit of love in action focuses on a faith in the Father who embraces us and pours his love and character (Jesus-like) through us to love our neighbor. Thus, we become conduits of God’s love when we become containers of it. We also find ourselves not just loving our neighbor (“the second is like it”) but loving God and our neighbor.”
What I’m aiming at spelling out is how empty the active Christian life is without the fuel of a contemplative life with God and how empty a life with God is if we are never finding ourselves drawn naturally to love.
…by human determinist project, I mean to say something like this, but applied to faith: “With a good dose of American work ethic and good, strong confidence, you can do anything!” This clashes with Jesus’ reliance on the Father to guide him along and St. Paul’s phrase, “I can do all things through whim who gives me strength.”
I am finding myself discovering in Jesus that the goal is not just love of neighbor (though obviously part of the loving journey!); the life Jesus brings is a life of being loved by God, growing to love God in return, and growing with that same kind of of-God love loving our neighbors. Like a conduit which can only share what it has received, we share true love – which is to say to our neighbor not just, “I’ll take care of this electric bill,” but, “I’ll embrace you in the arms of God our Father by taking care of this electric bill.”
How do you resonate with this?