IN the beginning there was Love: generative and giving of itself in such a manner as only Love can. Love made the verdant fields and sprinkled them with wild flowers. Love made long-necked beasts and earth-hugging creatures. Love was patient in nurture and watchful, ever mindful of universes and planets, and a certain planet earth, and a certain people Israel. Love gave sons, even when men denied them or the flesh failed. So Sarah conceived and laughed. So Tamar became the mother of twins. So Ruth, under the robe of Boaz, became great grandmother to David, anointed King. So the Handmaid of the Lord, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, conceived Love in her womb, the Love from before all time.
Eternal Love through millennia prepared salvation and the hearts of men; deliverance from floods, from prison, from enemies, from slavery, from exile, from sin and death. Love overcame all things and endured all things. Love set boundaries to preserve Love’s inheritance, and established statutes to instruct in the way of Life. Love led the Patriarchs to water and preserved their wells. Love spoke face to face with a woman at Jacob’s well and gave her grace to go and sin no more.
Out of a cistern, Love lifted the Prophet who came in the name of Love. Many were the despisers of Love. They cast Love’s servants into pits, stoned them, sold them into slavery, betrayed them to their enemies and nailed them to crosses. Other lovers of Love were burned, flayed or beheaded. Some suffered quietly until their hearts ceased within them and they entered into Love’s rest. The number of those despised is greater than a man could count and each name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Love never forgets.
Love remembers every deed, every thought and every impulse. Imposters came and went, but Love remained. Sexual love vied for first tart in every generation and lacked grace. Sentimental love played silly tricks and lacked endurance. Intellectual love became lost in meandering phantasmal trails. Egotistical love shouted for glory until red-faced and hoarse. The vanities parade themselves as slaves in the market. The virtues go home with Love as beloved children.
To His beloved, Love shows His face in the radiance of the sun, in the dark catacomb, in the bloody imprint of Veronica’s cloth, in the smiling faces of the saints, in the gasps and groans of victorious confessors and martyrs. Love never hides, yet the first Adam continues to hide his face from Love.
Men hide themselves and their sins, but Love knows and sees all things. Love overcomes all things. There is none like Love: eternal, generative, patient, mindful, attentive and ever present. Therefore, seek Love and live, for apart from Love there is no life.