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Committed Sustained Informed - Intercession
A New Season
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"A New Season"

"Relationship" (Relational Love)

          There are four foundational realities that must be experienced in the formation of an effective intercessor: 1) love; 2) relationship; 3) identity; and 4) mission. We have been sketching around the theme of love in several teachings already. It is important to understand that love is always the root and foundation for the other three elements. For, love is the beginning, the end, and the "heart" of the charism of contemplative, communal intercession. The God who is Love draws me into relationship with Him; in the context of my receiving God's love and having a personal relationship with Him, God reveals my true identity to me; and it is in the context of God's love, relationship and my true identity, that the sense of my missionary calling is revealed to me by God. Now we begin to explore the reality of relationship with God. 

          When am I ready for a personal relationship with God? I am ready when I am no longer satisfied to know only about God, but rather begin to long to speak directly to God from my heart: I want to know the God of love.

          God is love first and foremost "because within God the three Persons of the Holy Trinity live an eternal exchange of love. This is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself" (Christopher West. Theology of the Body for Beginners, p. 24). The Catechism of the Catholic Church says it this way:

"God has revealed his innermost secret: God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange" (CCC 221)

With this in mind, it is easy to see that true love is relational; for,  Love is the very inner life of the Holy Trinity. Hence, everything that God creates comes forth from, and in some way bears the "stamp" of , this eternal exchange of love:

          "In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth...a mighty wind swept over the waters. Then God said..." (Gen. 1:1-2). The tradition of the Catholic Church sees in these first two verses of the bible the Trinitarian "stamp" (the Father who creates by speaking forth the Word as the Holy Spirit hovers)--hence, the communion of love--as the creative force of all that exists--especially humanity.

          I have been created by Love for love, and relationship with God is where love is experienced and exchanged. Love seeks union. Even our secular dictionary defines the words, relate/relation, as, 'an association, connection; to join; to interact.' St. Paul tell the Corinthians, "Whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him" (1 Cr. 6:17). One can see that with God the purpose of being joined to him, of being in relationship with Him, is to become one with him. Jesus, in his high priestly prayer found in John 17, prays to the Father:

"That they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one...that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them" (John 17:22-23, 26).  

          The God who is love seeks a holy communion with me. Hence, the way of love's journey with God is relationship: "At the heart of our human reality there must be a relationship and communion with the divine" (Thomas Dubay S.M. Prayer Primer: Igniting a Fire Within, p.15).  This drama of love with God takes place in the inner prayer of my heart. God desires to "stroll with me in my garden heart". My heart is the place of covenant--an exchange of love and communion. My heart is the place of encounter. The God of love calls me to "participate in the spiritual mystery of divine love" (Christopher West. Theology of the Body for Beginners, p. 24).

Questions:

1)   Do I have a personal relationship with each of the three persons of the Holy Trinity?

2)   Do I perceive my heart to be a "garden of God"?

Scriptures:

Any scripture from the text; Ex. 33:11; Ex. 33:17; John 1: 37-39

"TWO-ZERO-ONE-EIGHT, TIME TO EXPIATE"

PLEASE VISIT "THIS WEEK'S BURNING ISSUES" ON THE "EVENTS" PAGE

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