Christ gives himself to his people gradually.
He knows that they have the rebellious divided spirit of adolescents — full of longing for genuine love, yet plagued with disappointment, despair, and doubt. He treats them somewhat like an older and experienced man might win the confidence of a wild young girl.
Slowly Christ gathers them to himself by the magnetic attraction of his grace. He wins them by deeds of love, healing them of their miseries, curing their lepers, exorcising their demons. Only when he sees that they are ready does he begin to reveal more intimate mysteries of his love, such as his desire to become one body with his followers and the eventual unity they will achieve with him in eternity.
He knows that many of their ways are unloving, but instead of reproaching them directly, he begins by telling them parables, letting them discover for themselves how far short their own lives are from the new ideal.
Gradually his disciples begin to respond to Christ's self-giving.
Ronda Chervin. "Do Not Be Afraid." from Church of Love (Liguori, Missouri: Liguori Publications, 1973).
Reprinted by permission of the author, Ronda Chervin. Church of Love is out of print.
This excerpt appeared in Magnificat.
Ronda Chervin teaches at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. She converted to the Catholic Faith from a Jewish, though atheistic, background and has been a Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Loyola Marymount University, the Seminary of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is the author of some sixty books including Healing of Rejection with the Help of the Lord: A Survivor's Guide, Avoiding Bitterness in Suffering: How Our Heroes in Faith Found Peace Amid Sorrow, Catholic Realism: A Framework for the Refutation of Atheism and the Evangelization of Atheists, What The Saints Said About Heaven: 101 Holy Insights On Everlasting Life, and Holding Hands with God: Catholic Women Share Their Stories of Courage.Copyright © 1973 Ronda Chervin
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