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ESV: Book of Common Prayer Daily Office Lectionary

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Erudite Redmecl

Consider this, which I wrote during Lent in February:


St. Francis of Assisi wrote:

In a vision

I asked for the most intimate experience with the Christ.

No one would believe what happened
in a vision more true than
this world:

sacred chord
pulsated light throughout the universe
as I nursed my own
Lord at my

(from "Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West," Daniel Ladinsky trans, [New York: Penguin Compass, 2002,]55.)

ER here: It came to me about 2:30 a.m. Eyes popped open. Eureka. And it's all right there, in what he asked for: "most intimate experience with the Christ."

It's not about Christ getting nourishment, or getting nurturing, or getting love. It's not erotic, neither then nor now. It's certainly not homoerotic. It's not an example of confusion on his part or anything like that.

It's another example, to me, of how with Christ, power and relationships are totally at odds with expectations.

It's about Francis GIVING love intimately, not Christ GETTING love intimately.

I couldn't see that at first for a couple of reasons. Not only am I a man, but I've never even held a baby who was my own! My Bird was 9 when I came along. I have probably held a baby fewer than 10 times my whole life.

(Fellow blogger) Trixie all but spelled it out:

"There is no more intimate or loving connection than that between a mother and baby. And the bond is not necessarily about nourishment, but nurturing and being in that relationship, profoundly close to one another."

But in that I still saw Christ GAINING rather than Francis GIVING -- but at the same time I imagined Francis gaining because, baby or not, we're talking about Christ ... dang it, this is hard to make clear.

Dr. ER saw the imagery as an expression of holy intimacy, too, and I think I totally missed it if she meant Francis was the actor, not the object. Big difference.

So, there I was, lying in bed, laughing, enjoyjng the glimpse of a different way to "love Jesus" -- and it could very well change the way I see Jesus in other people.

People are to be loved not necessarily because they deserve to be loved, or even need to be loved, but because I have a need to love them in order to love God, in order to strengthen the intimacy of my relationship with Christ.

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