The persevering love of Jesus is the unquenchable love.
Jesus did the will of the Father when it was not at all pleasing to his human nature. It was not pleasing, even long before the Passion, to be treated with ingratitude, to be disappointed again and again, to receive such small returns for his love. But he did the will of the Father always and not just when it was agreeable to his humanity.
Out of that constancy comes directly that persevering love absolutely characteristic of Jesus. Saint John says of him that, "having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end" (Jn 13:1). Again, we see in ourselves, flowing right out of the previous consideration, a sometimes-love, a self -centeredness. Christ was always Father-centered and other-centered.
It is when we are focused on ourselves that we have sometimes-love. When we look back on our own lives, we realize that we have sometimes experienced that feeling of "What's the use?" in situations, particularly at times with persons. And yet there is that unquenchable love that God has put in our hearts, which comes up like a tide and against all evidence to the contrary. It urges us to say, "No, I will try again." This is what we want to nurture in ourselves. This is of Christ. It is the always-love.
This persevering, constant love, like mobility and the faith response, comes out of suffering and pain. The love that is not persevering, the sometimes-love that separates us from Christ, is a matter of emotions, situations, persons, circumstances, surprises. But the persevering love of Jesus is the unquenchable love.
Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C. "Father-Centered with Jesus." excerpt from Anima Christi: Soul of Christ (San Francisco, Ca: Ignatius Press, 2001).
Reprinted with permission from Ignatius Press. This excerpt appeard in Magnificat in May, 2013.
Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C. (1921-2006) was the abbess of the Poor Clare Monastery in Roswell, New Mexico. She was an accomplished author and writer of thirteen books, seven plays, and numerous poems. Among her books are: Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Art of Waiting, But I Have Called You Friends: Reflections on the Art of Christian Friendship, A Right to Be Merry, Anima Christi, and Forth and Abroad. During her life she helped found four new Poor Clare monasteries, including one in Holland, and led the restoration of two others. She was a strong voice for authentic religious life during the turmoil of the years following Vatican II. In addition to serving as abbess of a convent and of the federation of Colletine Poor Clare monasteries in the U.S.Copyright © 2001 Ignatius Press
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