Shamelessly Faithful

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The dialogue of love never ceases for lovers never tire of calling out to and communicating with each other; it continues uninterruptedly, yet is never boring. Love indeed calls for constant communication. The absence of communication only serves to deepen the desire for union. At times, such communication is expressed in words; at other times, in silence. The deeper the communication the more silent it becomes. This silence gradually leads to a communion of mind and heart; even more, a kind of "communion of being when the lover and the Beloved get fused like two pieces of wax moulded into one. This does not mean that the lover and the Beloved lose their individual identity, but rather that they are consumed by the same fire of love, like the log of wood that burns in the flame and, as it catches fire, becomes the flame.

Prayer indeed is a dialogue of love. If it is not that, it becomes at best an exercise and at worst a burden. To pray is to be consumed by the fire of God's love, to feel the welcoming warmth of His love; to rest our restlessness in His loving embrace, like the bride in the Canticle; to be covered with His caresses and kisses. To pray is to allow God to love us, to know that even in our sinfulness, He never ceases to love us because He is 'shamelessly faithful'. Indeed, He loves us even more, for no one is in greater need of God's love than the sinner just as no one understands the sinner better than God.

Just the other day, while browsing through a review, I read that a repentant sinner who is sincere in his sorrow, gifts God with a jewel! The words at first sight caught my attention to make me read them over again! The author explained that a repentant sinner, who is sincere in his sorrow, and resolves to avoid sin at all costs, presents God with the precious jewel of pardoning and showing mercy! I remembered the incident of that notorious sinful woman weeping at the feet of Jesus as reported in Luke 7:36ff. She had washed his feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, kissed and anointed them. She was lavish in her love and contrite in her con-version. Jesus was gracious in compassion and generous in pardon. And her sins, though many, Jesus forgave. She offered Him the jewel of her repentance and He gifted her with the joy of being forgiven. Contrition, which precedes conversion, means being broken. Does not the best often emerge from our brokenness? And is it not our brokenness that God in His infinite goodness patiently puts together and makes whole?

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