Seeing the world through the eyes of love is the God view of the world and not our way of seeing. Generally, we have a polarised view of the world, divisions created by our values system.
Our list for nature goes something like this: monarch butterflies good, white butterflies bad, kauri trees good, pine trees bad.
We tend to apply this to people, towns, countries, every aspect of life. Good/bad. Comfort/discomfort. Love/fear. We all operate according to this system. It’s what we call being human.
But we also have that divine presence in us that keeps insisting that the world is not black and white, it is a rainbow of diversity, the many colours of incarnation that pour forth from God and return to God.
So how do we see creation through the eyes of love?
On my own, I can’t do this.
But I can sit on my own road to Jericho and wait for Jesus. He will always stop and say, “What do you want?” and I will cry, “Lord, that I might see.”
It is his touch that makes the difference. The first thing I notice is that there is no difference between a flower and a weed, except my judgment. My good and bad definitions disappear with his healing, and everything has its own beauty.
When we see beauty in everything, we see with the eyes of love.
The word ‘love” can be a cliché even in a religious context. It has been so trivialised that in some contexts it has lost its meaning. But believe me, love is the stuff of spiritual journey.
Love is the impetus for journey. Fear is the inhibitor. Love – fear.
How do those operate in my life? I’m made a list of the effects that I recognize.
Love always calls us to a larger place. Fear always tries to draw us back to a narrow place.
Love has a quiet soft voice. Fear had a loud strident voice.
Love is compassionate. Fear is judgmental. Love is unitive. Fear is divisive.
Love is a slow feeling, a movement of the heart. Fear comes quickly as strident thought.
Love sees beauty. Fear tends to see ugliness.
Love opens me up like a flower. Fear closes me down.
Love is my spiritual identity. Fear belongs to my animal instinct for survival.
Whenever a strong thought or feeling arises, I can stand it against this list and see where it belongs. I’m surprised at the times fear has looked highly respectable and love has been as simple as a bowl of soup on a cold day.
- Joy Cowley is a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and retreat facilitator.
This article, from Roman Catholic author Joy Cowley, speaks to me of a God-centred spirituality – with a heart and mind truly centred upon the God of All Creation – as shown to us through the incarnation, life, death, resurrection and glorification of Jesus. All that God has created is intrinsically good – this we learn from the Genesis story of the beginning of of the Creation.
Our fallen humanity is often inclined to look on the dark side – without reflecting on the selfless love with which The Blessed Trinity was at work at the dawn of Creation.
In our darker moments, we tend to seek the negative, rather than the positivity that is instinct in ALL creation – including our humanity, which God chose to dignify by taking upon God’s Self to invest it with a new splendour at the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
The current abject fear of the variety in human gender and sexuality arises in us because of our fear of anything outside of our own experience. What we need to do is contemplate Jesus’ loving pastoral care for the ‘others’ in society who seemingly did not measure up to common human standards of propriety.
Sometimes, by demonising the ‘other’, we can imagine that our own status in God’s sight is somehow exalted (e.g. the parable of the Pharisee and the Sinner). However, as Joy Cowley implies in her lovely article here, God does not look upon us with the prejudice of fallen humanity, but with the eye of the Divine Creator, imbued with infinite love, mercy and compassion. Knowing this, who would choose to exercise fear rather than love?
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand