To stand in the center of one’s own nothingness in solitude before God is like attempting to hold one’s hand over a flame: it is nearly impossible to remain there for more than a few seconds without being overwhelmed by the pain and then withdrawing back to safety, where things are more comfortable. But go there we must. We have to lose ourselves in the furnace of this nothingness – and die. Trusting, of course, that we will be born again, and continually reborn, in the Spirit.
The saints are the greatest romantics of all history: They take the greatest risks in the name of Love. They live and die only for Love. So too is it with their longing: It can’t be contained or encompassed, only deepened into ever widening vistas.
The flight into the Desert is by no means a flight away from, but a headlong flight towards. The Desert is nothing if not engagement, combat.
What a wonderful grace it is to experience and to participate in, in at least some dim, imperfect fashion, the longing of God’s Heart for all humanity and for all creation
Lord, your Love is a terrible one. You ask me to give up those things to which I cling for life: my time, my energy; my precious melancholy; the kind of person I should like to be and appear before others. In short, you ask me strip myself of myself. Your awful Love demands it…