Saturday, October 15, 2011


Not sure if I know how to accept this...
A poet has written, "the desire to feel loved is the last illusion: let it go and you will be free." Just as the sunrise of faith requires the sunset of our former unbelief, so the dawn of trust requires letting go of our spiritual consolations and tangible reassurances. Trust at the mercy of the response it receives is a bogus trust. All is uncertainty and anxiety. In trembling insecurity the disciple pleads for proofs from the Lord that her affection is returned. If she does not receive them, she is frustrated and starts to suspect that her relationship with Jesus is all over or that it never even existed.

If she does receive consolation, she is reassured, but only for a time. She presses for further proofs - each one less convincing than the one that went before. In the end the need to trust dies of pure frustration. What the disciple has not learned is that tangible reassurances, however valuable they may be, cannot create trust, sustain it, or guarantee any certainty of its presence. Jesus calls us to hand over our autonomous self in unshaken confidence. When the craving for reassurances is stifled, trust happens.

-Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel
It could be that this constant craving for reassurance and requited love is one cause of my often frustrated faith. However, I cannot agree that the desire to be loved is something that we need to be weened from. People who have conditioned themselves to not seek love perhaps have done so as a defense mechanism because they felt unlovable. I believe that it is one of the basic yearnings of the soul and to be detached from that desire is to be something less than human. Thoughts?

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