“Quia amasti me, fecisti me amabilem” Augustine
“In loving me, you made me lovable.” It is a powerful and beautiful summary of all that is best in Christian spirituality, and it is the experience of all those who come to God in Christ: the experience that His love is redemptive; that we become lovable both in the sense of being able to love and able to be loved.
Such was the experience of Jewish agnostic, Simone Weil. In 1938, a mere five years before she would die of tuberculosis, she was meditating on a poem by George Herbert, Love III. “Christ came down,” she would write, “and took possession of me.” Possessed of a love that makes us lovable. Herbert’s poem is the interaction between the poet and love personified. Love draws closer and asked if the poet lacked anything? The poet’s reply: “to be a guest worthy of being here.”
Love’s answer to that diminished response was, “You shall be that person.” This is what redemptive love does; this is who personified Love is – Jesus, the Lover and Redeemer of our Souls, makes us lovable not as an object, but as a subject in relation with Him.
Savour today’s prayer, even as Love invites, “You must sit down and taste me…”
Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked any thing.
A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?
Truth Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.