Love Before Lent

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March 2, 2014 by lellielieb

OLORD, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth; Send thy Holy Ghost and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before thee; Grant this for thine only Son Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.

Thus reads the Collect for today, the last Sunday before Lent begins.  How perfect that it centers on love!  I am blown away by the wording, “all our doings without charity are nothing worth.” I’m thankful for the reminder that love itself is a gift that the Holy Spirit Himself pours into our hearts.  My pastor is currently preaching on the Holy Spirit.  I am excited to go to church this morning and learn more.  I appreciate the images presented:  love as the glue, the “bond” that holds everything together, love as the bringer of peace and motivator to right action, and I’m sobered by the realization that without love I am dead to God and His working in my life.  Without love I am cold and dead.  Love is at once a great softener and a perfect protector.  To live in its protection, I must be vulnerable.  I must be willing to give up myself.

As I prayed through this prayer and meditated on the accompanying scripture–I Corinthians 13, of course–I remembered a passage from Lewis that I read recently in another book.  Lewis is almost infinitely quotable, and I will close with his words because they’re perfect.

 

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

― C.S. LewisThe Four Loves

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