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Becoming an Outpouring of Love

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The more humanity responds to and surrenders to God, the more it will take Him on and leave behind the wisdom of the world. The world cautions against loving too fully, citing fear of hurt and heartbreak as sure reciprocity for such selfless sacrifice. A fear of being unloved and unaccepted holds many back from stepping out in faith to begin this process. Again, the first Johannine epistle declares that perfect love casts out fear.[1] Humanity is not yet made completely perfect, so on some level, fear is a reality—but it must be cast off to realize what is greater than fear, Love.

The world sings the song of reciprocity, pride, and flattery in an attempt to distract humanity from its progression, its ultimate homecoming. But Love Himself was betrayed, crucified, and killed by humanity. He allowed it while sovereign over all. Therein lies the paradoxical power of Love as an emptying of self: it is healing and restorative to the selfsame recipients. Love as long suffering kindness, etc. will not be reciprocated and it should not matter. Humanity is not called to offer love so that it is loved in return, not called to be kind in order to be treated kindly, not called to patience to be met with patience. Rather, humanity will be ridiculed for this unconditional, radical, excessive love—martyred even, in offering love. Reciprocity, adulation, and the self are not the focus in this progression; restoration, a return to the first state, is.

Teach us to give and not count the cost. (Ignatius of Loyola)

Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity. (CS Lewis)

Suffering hurt and heartbreak is the threshold at which humanity can recover its truest self. Love sacrifices and does not seek its own. That is THE identifier. In progressing in Love, humanity grows beyond what it thought possible for itself. If hurt were the limit, progression expands past it into life more abundant.[2] Past the giving of self is the recovery of the Image and Likeness in which humanity was created.

Love is mutual self-giving which ends in self-recovery. (Fulton Sheen)

If you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only love. (Teresa of Calcutta)

This non-earthly Love that does not dance to the song of the world, the paltry tunes that do not begin to mirror the melodies of joy and songs of praise that the rest of Creation, the Flora and Fauna, offer God. This heavenly Love joins in the canticles that those whom the Spirit has attuned together chant,[3] increasingly allowing humanity to become more and more itself as it completely surrenders to this love story. Humanity realizes its destiny in Love, harmonizing in the joyful song of the Triune God, synergistically contributing to the music of the spheres, and ultimately, experiencing the Kingdom while here on earth.

The Spirit and the Bride extend their invitation to humanity: Come![4] Return to your Creator and become who you are meant to be: Love.

If you are what you should be, you will set the world ablaze! (Catherine of Siena)

In love did He bring the world into existence; in love does He guide it during this temporal existence; in love is He going to bring it to that wondrous transformed state and in love will the world be swallowed up in the great mystery of Him who has performed all these things; in love will the course of the governance of creation will be finally comprised (Isaac the Syrian)

This is part of Agora’s Trinitarian Love theme for the Symposium in 2020. Please join us in continuing this conversation on February 14 & 15.

[1] 1 John 4:18

[2] John 10:10

[3] See the Morning Doxology of the Coptic Tradition

[4] Revelation 22:17


2019 Patristic Symposium

With the blessings of H.H. Pope Tawadros II, Agora University in partnership with St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church of Chicago, IL is pleased to announce its 3rd Patristic Symposium titled “The Mystery of Sainthood: When Flesh Manifest God.” This symposium

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