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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Coming to Terms with Love and Brokenness, Part III

Simon Tugwell, OP
The Beatitudes: Soundings in Christian Traditions

Continued from Tuesday, May 27, 2008 …
But here also is the ultimate test of God’s love. In Christ, God provokes man to do his very worst; and he continues to love. Here, then, is a love which has demonstrated that it does not flinch even when we do our worst. It is a love which can absorb our pathological drive to probe and wound. “He has borne our diseases” (Matthew 8:17); and that means both that he has carried them away and disposed of them, and that he has endured them, loving us to the end (John 13:1).

The cross of Christ confronts us with both God’s supreme consolation -“Whatever you are, I can love you” and with his supreme reproach – “This is what you do to love, this is what you are really like.” In accepting God’s love for ourselves, we must also accept the judgment of that reproach. Love, in our broken world of sin, can never be other than forgiveness.

And those who are prepared to accept, or at least try to accept, that all-forgiving love, are at once caught up in the prophetic task of declaring it to the world. And that will always mean declaring both the reproach and the comfort. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of prophecy, who makes us able to speak, makes us also able to love with the same love which is shown forth on the cross. And it will in turn provoke people to probe it. And, though we may not all be persecuted to the point of death as a result of this, we must all be prepared to be wounded, and wounded precisely because we have become carriers of God’s love.

Simon Tugwell is a Dominican priest and well-known contemporary spiritual writer. His books are available at

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