“When love beckons to you follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth......
But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure, Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor, Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears. Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love. And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself."
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully.” -Khalil Gibran
If you give up because the path is hard, because it is difficult, because it is not comfortable...then you never really wanted it. You never needed it like you claimed. I know that feeling.
I wanted comfort, I wanted safety and I gave up. I surrendered to fear and to comfort and to the world. But guess what?
"You are not made for comfort," Pope Benedict XVI said. "You are made for greatness."
If the saints of this world gave up because their path was hard or because the world shouted out its rage at them, then they would not have been saints.
And you might say that some saints did give up, but I say they did not give up forever. Event the saints suffered despair, event the saints doubted, but it was what they did despite that doubt that is important.
They were shaken from their highest branches to their deepest roots. And so was I and if it hasn't happened to all of us at one point, it will. And that is God at work.
He shakes us, He makes us tremble in fear even at what He calls us to do. And if we cannot accept that we will be shaken then as Gibran said "Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor."
It's hard to be vulnerable. Its even harder when you know it isn't all sunshine and rainbows and it isn't supposed to be.
Spoiler Alert: Love is enough.
Painful, wonderful love is enough. It is sufficient unto itself.
To bleed willingly and joyfully, to love and not count how much it costs...that is a gift. Let yourself melt away, let your desires fall by the wayside. Then, let Love direct your course.
That Love, that Divine Love, is God Himself.
He will direct you and lead you. Yes, He's going to shake you up, he's going to tear you down. But just picture it: right now you're a cottage a by the sea, a small house. God wants to make you a castle, a citadel of Faith, Hope and Love. And the greatest of those is Love.
So, love too tenderly, love too much and even when it shakes your branches and your roots...love then too. Bleed joyfully then as well. Amen.