I recently ran across a beautiful meditation by Caryll Houselander (one of my faves) in this month’s Magnificat. This month being dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I thought I’d pass it along. For those who have already read it, I beg your indulgence. I pray that reading it (again perhaps) and meditating on it will bring you deeper into the love of Christ.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us! Anne
But the warning is this: do not ask from any human being that which God only can give. I grant you that God gives himself through human beings and unites himself through human relationships, provided the people involved realize their human relationships as a mutual giving and receiving of Christ-life and the Holy Spirit, and do nothing to frustrate this. But God does not give himself wholly through any one friend, lover, husband, or what not: I mean rather that although every real friendship is a mutual Christ-giving, no one friend can give God to you so perfectly as completely to satisfy and fill your need for his love.
Human elements enter into every human relationship, and disturb the serenity of them all sometimes. You see, we all tend to ask from the other human being things that God alone can give and we can only attain by a mutual and conscious turning to God together and accepting from God together whatever suffering is the condition of love – and of course suffering in some measure is the condition of all love and every love…
God’s love for those we love is infinitely greater than our own, and it is as well to remember it, and to remember it especially when he allows things to happen which threaten both their happiness or safety, and ours.
And it is also the ultimate reason why, despite the Christ-giving element in our relationships, they can never be perfect here. There must be empty places left in our hearts, because the final happiness of both depends upon God himself possessing us completely: once that is achieved, heaven can begin for both, and in heaven of course, unlike here, our friendships will take part, not only imperfectly, in God, but perfectly.
That, however, won’t happen here; so while thanking God for the joy and miracle of your new friendships, do not demand perfection of them, and do not be disappointed when trials arise. Actually, but for the failure of other relationships in your life, and for the suffering you have had through them, which, by the by, you have borne with magnificent fortitude and sweetness, but for those things you would not now be ready, fashioned as it were by the hammer of God. (Magnificat, June 2012, Vol. 14, No. 4 – p. 189-190)