In the light of this painful, yet effective process, Grou responds in worship:
“How can I understand what it is to love Thee with all my mind, with all my heart, and with all my strength? Who but Thou, O my God! Can penetrate the depths of this precept, and communicate the knowledge of it to Thy creature? Who but Thou, also, can make me understand what it is to love my neighbour as myself? Do I know, can I know, in what way Thou hast commanded me to love myself? And if I do not know how I am to love myself, can I know what is the love I owe to my neighbour? Nevertheless, the whole law is contained in these two precepts.” (p. 313.)
I feel this sense of desperate need to be taught by God Himself just what it means to love Him with all I am and to care for others at least as much as I take care of myself. Grou unpacks the expansiveness of these simple and all-encompassing commands.
Father, if You do not teach me, I will never learn. If You do not lead me, I will wander forever. Once more I entrust my life and my way into Your hands. I do that in naked faith because I do not feel any more led now than I did yesterday. I do not feel any more taught now than I did an hour ago. The consolation level does not seem to rise in answer to my prayers. You are up to something deeper than I can fathom. You are answering my deeper prayers to be transformed into Your image, rather than my prayers of the moment for present relief.
I have to say that I miss times of rapture, of deep calm, of an almost drunken, giddy joy in Your presence. I can recognize, though, how I have been tempted to draw my life from those consolations rather than from You. I’ve fallen too often. It’s like being given a remarkable gift from a beloved person, then ignoring the person while I’m engrossed in the gift. The gift is not the focus. The beloved person showing their love through the gift is my focus.
Grou continues his prayer:
“Give me then understanding, and I shall live. Yes, O my God and my All! Grant me to understand the necessity of thy love, and the extent of Thy love; grant me to understand how in the love of Thee is contained the love I ought to have for myself and the love I ought to have for my neighbour. Give me this Divine light, that, assisted by Thy grace, I may practice Thy whole law; then I shall practice it in all its fullness, and I shall attain to the fullness of the true life–the life eternal! Amen.” (p. 314.)
Father, I welcome understanding and insight from You as a gift. If You give me direction, I will no longer be wayward. If You lift me with Your courage, I will no longer be fearful. If You grant me self-discipline, I will be enabled to walk faithfully in Your ways.
Thank You for Your faithfulness guidance for over 30 years. (September 30 was my 30th faith birthday. A spiritual golden birthday. Wow!).
Read part five