Il Temporale

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They call it `temporale' in Italian, those stormy gusty winds that almost sweep you off your feet and make the branches and boughs of the maples along the Tiber shake and shudder as they cling tenaciously to one another like lovers locked in a close embrace. The ‘temporale’ seemed to sweep my mind away to other scenes where the gust (or is it gush?) of passion drives lovers into each other's arms, as they from the height of the Gianicolo hill, atop of which stands the imposing statue of Garibaldi with those challenging words: "Rome or Death" at its base, look at the Eternal City down below. Love is indeed blind, bold and brazen.

With its many public parks, piazzas and promenades, Rome seems to lend itself to romance. Love is blind because it has eyes for and beholds only the be-loved. I see lovers expressing their love for each other blissfully blind to the rest of the world that passes by. Is this not the way the Lord loves me? He loves me as though I were the only object of His love. He has eyes only for me, leaving aside, in a manner of speaking, the rest of the world, as He pours into the frail finitude of my humanity, the limitless love of His divinity.

Love is bold. Lovers take risks and dare to love. Do we not know of lovers who at times have been disowned and disinherited by their very family be-cause they dared to love? Have we not heard of lovers who have surmounted every obstacle and scaled every barrier and dared to love? Do we not know of lovers who have surrendered and sacrificed everything to profess their love? Is this not the way the Lord loves me? He has to overcome so many obstacles especially the ones that I my-self put in His path, when I refuse and reject His love. What a risk indeed He takes when He loves me, I who am so frail and fickle, so weak and wayward, so undependable and unfaithful! And even though He has any number of reasons not to, He still makes bold to love
me.

Love is brazen and shameless. It can be refused and rejected, despised and discarded, but it still loves. Love, even when offended, always takes the first step to make up with the offender. Is this not the way God loves me? How often have I not by sin spurned His love and yet always has He not persevered with and pursued me?

God never feels ashamed to love me. The romance as far as He is concerned never ceases.

And walking along the Tiber as I pondered these thoughts, I felt swamped and swept away by the 'temporale’ of God's love.

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