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Melto D’Moronoyo: Love unites and perfects everything in us

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Love is a divine impulse. It comes from God in its perfect form. Photo: Unsplash
Love is a divine impulse. It comes from God in its perfect form. Photo: Unsplash

Goodness, truth, and beauty are joined to our souls through the uniting power of love: that is its fruit.

Love is a divine impulse. It comes from God in its perfect form, and as it reaches us, draws us higher, uniting us to all which is united with God (and so frees us from all which is separated from him).

If I want the glory of God in my life, then I have to make the appropriate effort: prayer and prayerful action.

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We know that we need more than the 40-hour week to achieve a major job, and may have to put in weekends and late nights.

Yet how much time do we devote totally to God? Do we forget him completely while engaged in other things?

The search for the presence of God is such that I need to find a way to be both mindful of God, and engaged in my daily life. Love can join the two lives into one.

The Divine Liturgy is the perfect of example of a life in which God is sought for, is found, and we are united to him.

The Maronite Liturgy is called the qurbono, in Syriac, the offering, because we come to God to make a sacrificial offering, and to receive in return the most perfect gift: God himself.

To “offer” is to draw near with something I wish to place before someone. I want, in other words, that what was mine becomes someone else’s.

In the Divine Liturgy above all, I bring the whole of myself, and offer myself to Him. In fact, the priest offers to God His Only-Begotten Son on our behalf, hence we say aloho nqabel qurbonokh ou nitraham alayyin: “May God accept your offering, and have mercy on us.”

Each liturgy is a humbling exchange of the earthly for the divine, and a receipt of his mercy.

Now, we cannot spend all day in the Divine Liturgy. We come together for that sacrifice, and then go back to life.

I can do no better than to offer my entire day to God, and to remind myself time and again of this. It is not enough to make a gesture in the liturgy, and then forget it.

But if I make a practice out of seeking the goodness, truth, and beauty of God, then I will be called by every success and by every failure.

For this, I have to make the connection. So, make it your aim to seek the goodness, truth, and beauty of God, and be joined to it by his Love.

When you feel remote from him, why not sit down before an icon or statue, light a candle, make the sign of the cross, and ask him to help you remember a pure love, such as for a grandparent.

Stay with that love. Don’t seek anything except to connect with God at that moment, and in that love. If you like, take a definite time such as three minutes. Be honest with yourself, but see if you do not feel some sort of connection with God, even if only of desire.

It is possible, in the contemplative state, to be able sense a deeper and purer love than the one we usually know.

As it has been observed, the “love” we experience can easily become its opposite: people who have insisted they love each other eternally, now hate each other implacably.

As I have mentioned in previous articles, one needs a teacher, and one must strive to adhere to Christian morality with no exceptions, and forsake the sort of Eastern style in which one uses trances to stop thinking.

All this is critical because in the contemplative state one can focus on how one has loved, and where that love has been pure, and where it has been impure. One can feel—and just as importantly—bear the sense of remorse from seeing this.

A certain purification can take place, and then, that achievement can carry over into life as an influence. It is impossible to have, in life, the state possible in those quiet moments, but I can still have the influence of those times when I am raised up.

When I have once experienced certain things, I cannot deny the experience. I can turn my back on them, I can say I deny them, but at some deep level there is a trace. The question then, is what do I do with the trace? Do I neglect it or do I nourish it?

We should not make any mistake about this: the experience of divine grace and graces is an example of the gift of talents spoken of in the Gospels.

Whom shall we resemble: the man who buried his talent—in this case, within himself? Or those who brought them into the daylight and worked with them?

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