What we understood from the Father’s love (I)

It is proper to the one who springs forth to return to the spring, the originated to the origin. This is the state proper to every essence that has its origin outside itself. This property transpires, first and foremost, in the reality that the entire creation finds its natural state in this manner of being, in this dynamic of relationship with its Creator. So much more does this manner of relating apply to man, for he was created to bear the image of the Son, which means that everything that constitutes, defines, and perfects man is found under the mark of personal relationship, and not any manner of relationship, but one that is familiar, of love.

Since we speak of a loving relationship between two persons, then it is implicit that we speak of a free participation of these persons, which allows these persons to discover their fulfillment only in the measure of their plenary dedication within this relationship. Such a relationship is void if one of the persons does not participate, or involves himself only partially. But if each person becomes fully involved in this relationship, then the relationship itself will be plenary, and each person, both individually and in synergy (meaning the whole expressed also in its components), settles into perfection. The criterion that validates the perfection of the relationship is certainly not the quality of the person himself (something totally foreign when we deal with love), but rather the degree of rapport of each person to the other person. In other words, I will not discover the meaning of my own perfection in myself, but rather in the other. Therefore, the more I concentrate upon the other person, then the more I will become more conscious of him and not of myself, and the more our mutual relationship will discover its fulfillment, and this is the shortest path to sanctity.

From the above, we draw a very important conclusion: The most essential thing we need in order to preserve (and grow) this relationship is attentiveness to the other person! In what concerns our positioning relative to the Father, there can be none other than one of obedience, for we are sons and daughters. Thus, in the center of obedience, or its very heart, is attentiveness. Only if we are attentive, very attentive to Him, can we be in obedience. Otherwise, we are not capable even to hear what He says and we know that there is a very strong link between hearing and resurrection: “Those who hear will live” (John 5:25). Certainly, we have a problem here that is by no means easy to overcome, mainly due to the distance between us and God, and to which is also added the fact that the Father, by definition, is unseen. Therefore, we can say in good faith that we have no way of seeing or hearing something from the Him, no matter how attentive we might be. How can we resolve such a problem that is beyond us? The answer is accessible to us: “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible’” (Mark 10:27). God, seeing the powerlessness of us humans in traveling the path leading to Him, shortened this path by sending His Son to us, for “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Therefore, in Christ, we can find everything necessary for us to present ourselves before the Father, as sons and daughters, like Him. The advent of the Son of God in the flesh has no other purpose except to witness to the Father’s love and to show us the way in which we can respond with love to His love, and thus to reach Him.

(To be continued)

Protos. Hrisostom Ciuciu