Friday, July 22, 2011

Love Without Limits 1 (Fr Lev Gillet)

Over the next fortnight I will be sharing with you a series of passages from Fr Lev Gillet's AMOUR SANS LIMITES, originally published in 1971 under the name of "A Monk of the Eastern Church." These translations – which have been a great blessing to me – came originally from Father John Breck's column on the Orthodox Church of America website. Most of them are no longer there, but I see that Neil at Catholic Sensibility has links to cached copies, and these were the sources I used. Thank you Fr Breck and Neil!

"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."


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