Sunday, August 7, 2011

Giving and Receiving Love

The giving and receiving of love is at the heart of God's plan and purpose for each of us.  Unless this is the true centre of my being I am not living as wholly or ad deeply as I should be.  It is a phrase that I say to myself so easily, "You are made for the giving and receiving of love."  It sounds so simple.  Yet I also know from experience that I shall probably spend a lifetime trying to discover its full meaning and to live it ou.  But here again, St. Benedict, who knows human nature so well, is able to help me.

If the Rule of St. Benedict helps me to live with myself it also helps me to live with others.  I find a compelling image of this in the fact that after the novice has sung Suscipe me that the refrain is taken up by the entire community and sung three times.  Then the novice prostrates himself or herself before each sister or brother in turn.  After accepting oneself that same acceptance is given and received from others.

from Living with Contradictions, Reflections on the Rule of St. Benedict
by Esther de Waal 

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