Tuesday, September 13, 2005

the least of these

Love is what gives joy to all creation.

Love is what gives joy to giving joy.

I was born of mother love in the beginning.

To that mother, joyous thanks and endless blessing.

#762: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search word: give

I have been preoccupied of late with the issue of accountability, of the numbers associated with the give and take of human relationship. I give something and I expect something in return. I take something and the giver wants something in return. Rumi here reminds me that mother love is an exception to that: a mother gives of herself and finds joy in that giving. She feels honoured by life when she thus so clearly serves life's continuation. Lately, I have been feeling resentful about giving and I have withdrawn my giving. This is because I'm not connecting to any joy in giving and I'm not seeing any rewards or returns in the usual way. To me, this is a signal that I'm "out of sorts".

Mother Teresa was our iconic figure of selfless giving and the joy that goes with that. It is very evident from her sayings and writings that her style of life brought her great happiness.
A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, must empty ourselves. The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace.
If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive.

My chief block, I know, is that I've not been able to forgive my own mother. Failure to forgive and love such a core figure is pretty grave. I settle by reminding myself to forgive myself this very failure of forgiveness. If I can't be kind to my mother, I can at least try to be kind to myself. I often thus interpret myself as "the least of these my brethren" in Matthew's grand statement advocating love for one another.

Matthew 25:40

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.



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