Now aged and retired from working as a Christian clergyperson, I asked about when he accepted a Divine Call to be a Christian clergyperson, some four decades prior. He said, he made a deal with a friend, and his part was to attend the church meeting his friend attended. He had not been religious and had not been associated with any Christian group, any religious or spiritual group. He said, "I walked inside the doors of the church with him. I did not know anyone there, had never seen a one. Yet, I loved them all." This he told me with a big smile and arms lifted up, as though still celebrating that moment of Truth.
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Love Itself is the expression of the Sacred, substantially, if I may use the word for the ineffable, IS the Sacred - for what is expressed by Divine Presence IS Divine Presence. The Sacred has many expressions, yet, of all, Love seems most important in the human journey. And, however, we grow through the personalized-affective expressions of Love to an underlying unpersonal-Love that presents more as simple presence, simply openness. Even then, still, Love may often arise through the bodily affections; yet, one learns that the expressions of Love is not Love, or we could say they are faces of Love. Often when we say something like, "I felt Love," we really mean, "I felt loving," so, it seems, "I felt Love's influence on me (or, through me)." Then, as above, Love will often witness to Itself through an arising of Love-without-knowing, meaning, Love does not need to know someone in mind to know someone and love that someone, even the whole world. Love is Wholeness, and, so, Love cannot be partial either in Itself or Its expressions, or Love would not be Love. All this, also, means, Love is first not conscious, and may or may not become conscious. And, Love may particularize or generalize, the latter as in the above account. In moving beyond self-control, we yield self-control to the actions and wisdom of Love and, so, learn to adjust to the different ways Love is happening, happens. Again, Love and Love's Movement are One. This includes times we do not feel, or sense, Love at all. We learn that Love is often a hidden motive, or creative presence and power, behind what we are doing. Love can even be the hidden impulse not to do; so, non-doing. This not-knowing, I know, happens at times in my work with patients and families. Over the decades of working with persons, and especially being taught by following a contemplative path, I have learned, or been taught, the blessing of working apart from, at times and more and more, feelings of Love - of course, this can correspond, also, with fatigue, where the body is simply so tired it is dulled to feeling, especially subtle sensations, such as often happens in Loving. I have learned the presence of Love apart from dependence on feelings of Love, or loving affection. There can be a real sense of Love, in some way indescribable, when the affection of Love is not present. Love is free, and Love is more outside our control than we likely ever thought true. Love is not our servant, it is the other way around - we are servant to mysteries and workings of Love, both prior to consciousness and within consciousness. Part of growing through self-reliance, or self-control, is surrender to the workings of Grace in secret, hidden ways. For this to occur, a transformation occurs from reliance on felt-expressions, or affections, to a oneness with the Now that may or may not receive the arising of loving affections within the body. Almost nothing in our society teaches this wisdom of Love. I sense I see it, however, often in the aged. With time, Love has withdrawn into an intimate closeness that is not like the more body-centered Love of earlier years. It is logical this occurs through maturity and the lessening of the vigor of body. With the lessening of body-vigor, experience of qualities of Life are more subtle, yet more maturely experienced and leading to a more mature, contended reception and expression. I know, for example, that in some of my physically most sick times, I have felt as though a tenderness of Love would arise that did not arise when the body was strong and well.