Fall in Love
Attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. (1907–1991)
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read,
whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love,
stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
This poem has found its way into my life a few times since entering the convent. Within my first week, a seminarian friend of mine sent me a letter that ended with the last 3 lines of this poem. It was exactly what I needed to read at that moment. During Holy Week I encountered this poem again, except this time I read the entire thing. It was exactly what I needed to read at that moment.
This rather short and simple poem brings up some serious Truth. If we truly fall in love with God (and we try our best to stay in love), then EVERYTHING is affected. Think about that for a moment! I cannot think of anything that is not affected when God is at the center of our lives. Let me know if you come up with something.
I am one of those people who has a difficult time waking up in the morning. I do not have the luxury of a snooze button anymore, so the struggle is so real…especially at 5:15 AM! However, my community is peacefully woken up by a recording of prayers that immediately reminds us of why we are making this sacrifice. Love really does get me out of bed in the morning, even when it is most difficult. Maybe you can relate to this. I am sure you can also think of a bajillion other examples in whatever vocation you are in! These seemingly ordinary struggles do mean a lot to God when we do the best we can out of love for God.
My Superior is having me read a book called, Prayer by Hans Urs von Balthasar. In this book I recently came across 3 points the author makes about our love for God. These 3 points also reflect God’s love for us:
1. Love desires to have the beloved before its eyes
2. Love desires to dwell at peace in the presence of the beloved
3. There is in love an eagerness which wants to get to know the beloved
All 3 of these points that von Balthasar makes made me immediately think of the Eucharist.
In Mass and in Eucharistic Adoration we are literally before the gaze of Jesus. He desires to gaze upon you, His beloved, with infinite love and mercy. It is up to us to respond to this loving gaze. When you receive Jesus into your heart, He desires to dwell in the tabernacle of your heart. St. Therese has said that this is a little heaven for Him! I believe this is also true when we keep company with Jesus in Adoration. Finally, just as in any relationship, Jesus is eager to get to know you. Yes, He knows your heart and your deepest desires because of His Divine nature, but He wants YOU to come to Him and share yourself with Him. Remember, prayer is simply heart speaking to Heart!
I now invite you to reread Fr. Arrupe’s poem again from Jesus’ perspective. He has fallen in love with you, stayed in love with you, and that really has decided everything. What is your response to this Love?