“Commandment: Divine Rule”
Matthew 22: 36-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hand on these two commandments.”
Commandment 1: Love God. This is the life of Faith- we start with knowledge of God through our intellect, but then engage with and fall in love with God to find Wisdom.
When Solomon asked God for wisdom, 1 Kings 3:11-12 11 “.. God said to him: Because you asked for this—you did not ask for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies—but you asked for discernment to know what is right— I now do as you request. I give you a heart so wise and discerning that there has never been anyone like you until now, nor after you will there be anyone to equal you.”
Also, in Sirach 51:13-14, 18-19, 21-22 “When I was young and innocent, I sought wisdom. She came to me in her beauty, and until the end I will cultivate her…I became resolutely devoted to her, the good I persistently strove for. I burned with desire for her, never turning back. I became preoccupied with her, never weary of extolling her. I spread out my hands to the heavens and I came to know her secrets… My whole being was stirred as I learned about her, therefore I have made her my prized possession. The Lord has granted me my lips as a reward, and my tongue will declare his praises.”
Yes, knowledge and reason are Good. But look at how when we step in faith to seek Wisdom how our HEARTS are transformed (receive a wise and discerning heart) and our WHOLE BEINGS are changed (my whole being stirred as I learned about her).
When we participate in the Divine Dance of Delight and Desire, then we live in this physical world and also engage with the mystery of the life of faith. We have no idea of the next step, but held in the embrace of Love we trust… even in the whirling, twirling movement of a dance we’ve never danced, that we are held secure.
Commandment 2A: Love Neighbor. When we live in hope, we recognize that we do not live in isolation, but community. The physical individual body we inhabit, is transformed into the mystical, energetic body of Christ.
Pablo Neruda wrote Love sonnet XVII, and this excerpt captures the essence of what it means to love your neighbor AS yourself:
“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride.
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
Except in this form I which I am not nor are you,
So close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
So close that your eyes close with my dreams.”
In Christ, we are One Body.
Commandment 2B: Love yourself. We are already whole. We have already been found worthy. It is in surrendering our Ego(which holds our harshest inner critic), that we meet God and find freedom. When we empty ourselves of our human “self”- the void gets filled with our true “Self”. And the treasure is a superabundance overflowing with a mysterious, glorious God who works through every single thing, both the light and the shadow within us.
Daniel 2:22 “He reveals deep and hidden things and knows what is in the darkness, for the light dwells with him.”
In our waking times, in our dream times, in our half-awake times, do we allow ourselves to long for and seek our Ultimate desire – God, who is Love? Do we rest in the embrace of our ultimate Delight, which is Grace?
Matthew 7:7 “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened…”
Just like the little bird always asking in the book “Are You My Mother?”, let us ask again and again in our lived experience, “Are you Love?”
And when we find Love, let us surrender to it and embrace it, feel both the agony and ecstasy of it (because that is the fullness of it!!) and allow it to transform our hearts.