Christ and Nicodemus, Fritz von Uhde
Falling in love with Jesus.
Jesus said to Nicodemus, 'you must be born from above.' The wind moves where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes... but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.
Years ago, my friends and I - 4 guys and 2 girls/young women - did our circle the continent tour. The itinerary started out here, in the Twin Cities, driving a van to San Francisco, north to Seattle/Vancouver. I met up with them in Seattle. The next day, we embarked on a cross country tour of Canada - I had to leave them in Montreal because I had a job to return to. My friends finished up going through to the Atlantic, stopping in New York and back here. This all took place the summer before my first conversion.
The Spirit blows where he wills.
Somehow I convinced myself - or at least told other people - I had no faith. Yet in every town we stopped at, I separated myself from the group and wandered into a Catholic church - always, just starring at the tabernacle. Midway through Canada - Kenora*, I stopped in another church - feeling myself drawn... I sat in the back and it seemed to me the tabernacle glowed with light. Just now writing about it makes my hair stand on end. I stared and stared - to this day I can't say what happened. I left, and returned to my friends and we went on to Toronto.
You hear the sound it makes...
Even when there are no words - something happens. You can give up drugs and alcohol. You can give up sexual sin. You can live chastely and celibately - even if you are in the middle of something. A sinful life. A sinful relationship you can't leave or don't know how you can make it better. God can.
You have to let yourself be loved.
Jesus said something like that to Angela of Foligno, and a holy little Carmelite, Elizabeth of the Trinity grabbed onto the same sentiment... 'let yourself be loved'.
Let yourself be attracted to Jesus, drawn by cords of love. He doesn't ask what is impossible.
It's the falling in love...
Falling in love with Jesus is always new, one is always reborn, renewed.
When you fall in love with him, everything falls into place. How can a young man remain sinless? Fall in love with Jesus.
I did say something to the tabernacle at one of the stops on our cross country tour, I said, "If you are there, please help me."
In Montreal I lit a candle and said, "Please be patient with me, I can't come back yet."
The following spring he grasped me.
Cling to him in love...
As the Popes keep telling us - being Catholic is a relationship with Jesus. When you fall in love with Jesus, everything else falls into place. The counsels become live-able.
When you stumble and fall - he is there to catch you. You get up, and keep going, keep loving. The sacraments are there for that reason - they are the proofs of his love. That love so much deeper than any pit...
His love enfolds you - because, his anointing remains in your heart. In a sense, you have no need for anyone to teach you, as John says in one of his letters. So long as you remain in him - cling to him in love, for he knows your name.
Let yourself be drawn... let yourself be loved.
*Notre Dame du Portage, Kenora