delicious fruit

When it seems to us that Jesus turns away from us in our distress, could it be that he is trying to lead us to a place we would miss without this extreme measure?

I continue to ponder the abundant life.  It’s quite possible that I can’t experience abundance until I realize how much Jesus likes me … how much he longs for me to know that he accepts me just as I am.

In my distress, in the difficult circumstances, it is easy to think of oneself badly, to wallow in pity, to consider oneself unworthy somehow of rescue.  No wonder Jesus would turn his back on that behavior … he must feel the sting of rebuke when I deny his affection for me.  He would lead me to a deeper understanding of his plan for me … his plan for love, like, friendship, companionship … pure abandonment.

David G. Benner, in Surrender to Love, writes, “Creation was God’s plan for friendship.  We were not brought into existence simply so that we could worship God.  Nor were we created simply for service.  Human beings exist because of God’s desire for companionship. … Humans were created for this intimate communion with their head-over-heels-in-love Creator God.  When God thinks of us he feels a deep, persistent longing – not simply for our wholeness but, more basically, for our friendship.”

“Abandonment is the delicious fruit of love.”— St. Augustine.

I saw upon this earth
A marvelous tree arise;
Its vigorous root had birth,
O wonder! in the skies.
Never, beneath its shade,
Can aught disturb or wound;
There tempests are allayed,
There perfect rest is found
And love men call this tree,
From heaven’s high portals sent;
Its fruit, how fair to see!
Is named abandonment.

What banquet here doth greet
Each reverent, hungry guest!
How, by its odors sweet,
The spirit is refreshed!
Oh, taste, — for never such
A feast was yours before.
In this tumultuous world
It brings us perfect peace;
Though storms be round us hurled,
Its quiet shall not cease.

Abandonment gives rest
In Thee, O Jesus Christ!
Here is the food most blest
That has Thy saints sufficed.
Spouse of my soul, draw nigher!
I give my all to Thee.
What more can I desire
Than Thy sweet Face to see?
Naught can I do but smile,
Safe folded to Thy breast.
They who have known no guile
Find there most perfect rest.

As looks the floweret small
Up to the glorious sun,
So I, though least of all,
Seek my Beloved One.
King Whom I love the most!
The star I always see
Is Thy White Sacred Host,
Little and low like me;
And its celestial power,
Down from Thy altar sent,
Wakes in my heart that flower, —
Perfect abandonment.
~ St. Teresa

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  1. I have been thinking about these things lately…thanks for the post. Brennan Manning writes, “Wallowing in shame, remorse, self-hatred, and guilt over real or imagined failings in our past lives betrays a distrust in the love of God. It shows that we have not accepted the acceptance of Jesus Christ and thus have rejected the total sufficiency of his redeeming work…and preempts the presence of a compassionate God.” (Ruthless Trust)

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