The sin of Shakespeare's King Lear is rooted in his treatment of love as a commodity, a "thing, to be bought and sold.
"How much do you love me?" he demands of each of his three daughters and adds self-indulgently that he will reward them in direct proportion to his assessment of the weight and measure of their declared love.
His two unscrupulous daughters, encouraged in no small way by their father's vanity and blind misconception of love, flatter his ego with grossly inflated statements of the extent of their affections. The third daughter, ashamed of her father's foolishness, remains silent. And perhaps silence is the only appropriate response to a definition of love as something measurable.
Father Richard Rohr sees love as "an infinite, inclusive flow of giving and receiving." What a rich contrast there is between Lear's impoverished definition of love as a "thing" and Richard Rohr's description of love as "an infinite, inclusive flow of giving and receiving"! "Infinite!" "Inclusive!" "Flow!" Words, concepts, that encourage us, mind, heart and soul, to reach out, to embrace fully, to expand our perceptions, to soar beyond boundaries of judgement and dissention and to unite with the God of Love Himself.
If love is a "thing" to be weighed and measured, then it is finite, limited. You can see its edges. You can distribute it to others in portions as big or as small as you deem appropriate to their deserving. You can withhold it from those you deem to be unworthy recipients.
But if love is "an infinitive, inclusive flow of giving and receiving", then we must put away the weighing scales and the measuring tapes; they have no part to play in this glorious, limitless, all-inclusive, flow of love which is at the heart of creation; this flow which denies love to no part of creation: flowers, trees, animals, family, friends, enemies, sinless and sinful alike. No barriers; no boundaries; no divisions; no judgements; no weighing or measuring. Just a going with the infinite, all-inclusive flow. There is, of course, the challenge of relinquishing our weights and measures, and with them our arbitrary judgements over who is to receive which amount of love and who is to receive no love at all. But think of the fresh air we shall breathe when we expand our horizons of love to include all that there is. Think of the lightness of being we shall experience when we shake off the weight of decision-making over the deserving and the undeserving; the reinforced concrete weight of prejudice and enmity. Think of the lightness of being that will energise us into feeling that we can live forever. Now who was it who promised us that we would live forever if we became one with the God of Love? Who was it but the Son of the God of Love himself!
19th November 2018 The human hunger for beauty
9th October 2018 Shifting Perspectives
19th June 2018 Thank God I was wrong
16th May 2018 "Today is a new dawn, new, clean and fresh - and so are you, my dear! Don't worry. All is well."
26th March 2018 The Long Winter
7th March 2018 The Gift of Tears
19th January 2018 An Understanding of Kindness
14th December 2017 Do You See This Woman?
17th October 2017 We Are All One with You
7th September 2017 Gaps
20th June 2017 "Love is not loved."
25th April 2017 I Hope You Dance
21st March 2017 From Darkness to Dawn
27th October 2016 The Bright Field
27th June 2016 The Enemy Within
31st May 2016 The Little Way to The Almighty
25th January 2016 Love Immeasurable
11th November 2015 Letting Go
21st May 2015 The Gift of Loss
6th May 2015 Walls
24th November 2014 Leaning into Winter
24th October 2014 Crossing the Road
25th June 2014 Fetters of the Soul
30th April 2014 The Power of Gratitude
10th March 2014 The Darkling Thrush
11th February 2014 Spring
10th February 2014 Masks
3rd February 2014 Dancing in the Wind
21st January 2014 Chains of nostalgia
13th January 2014 Forgiving wrongs darker than death or night
7th January 2014 Singing out Loud
17th December 2013 CHRISTMAS FOUND
9th December 2013 Withering into the Truth
2nd December 2013 The Celtic Prayer Garden
25th November 2013 Missing Dates
18th November 2013 NEARER GOD’S HEART
12th November 2013 Night
27th April 2010 Healing God
25th November 2009 Our Poverty
1st September 2009 Which of the two tigers will win the fight?
1st June 2009 Be your own role model
25th May 2009 The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord
18th May 2009 Power of the real presence
7th May 2009 "Lessons I did not learn in School" - by Bill Gates
20th April 2009 JESUS RISES FROM THE DEAD
30th March 2009 The Long Walk to Freedom
23rd March 2009 Become a Friend
16th March 2009 Ireland in Identity Crisis?
9th March 2009 Love to Pray
2nd March 2009 Life - Giving Words
16th February 2009 Exclusion Policy
9th February 2009 Somewhere the Child
2nd February 2009 The Conversion of St Paul
12th January 2009 Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"
22nd December 2008 A Christmas Parable by Louis Cassels
15th December 2008 Work – from In the heart of the Temple by Sr Joan Chittister
8th December 2008 Am I at home when the doorbell rings?
1st December 2008 Street Corner Christ
17th November 2008 How Did I Get This Busy?
10th November 2008 A Homily for The Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica – 9th November 2008
3rd November 2008 John O’Donohue taken from “Benedictus - A Book of Blessings”
27th October 2008 Charles Peguy 1873-1914, French poet and politician
20th October 2008 The following is an extract from a talk given by Bishop George Lungu of Chipata in Zambia in Africa, to the synod of Bishops being held in Rome this month.
13th October 2008 Excerpt from ‘A Door of Hope’ by Jean Vanier
6th October 2008 A Reflection on Matthew's Gospel 21:28-32
29th September 2008 The Daily Decalogue of Pope John XXIII