This continues our translation of Father Lev Gillet’s meditation on the mystery of divine love, which he published under the pseudonym, “A Monk of the Eastern Church.” In this section he speaks of the divine love that embraces each of us, wholly and personally.
“My child,” God declares, “this word that I speak to you places you in the very heart of the Burning Bush. You are no longer on the threshold of the mystery, you have entered it fully. You are loved. If you truly want to receive them, these three words can shake and transform your very life.
“You are loved. We have to begin at the beginning. In the first place we have to affirm my love for mankind, my Love without limits. A person’s love for God is only a response to my Love. I am the first to have loved. I am always the one to take the initiative.
“How can you possibly love me if you have not first of all received the revelation of Love that I have for you? At a certain moment you must feel as a shock the impassioned Love that I offer to you. Then, if it’s your desire to proclaim my Gospel, you must first simply go towards other people, declaring to each of them, ‘You are loved!’ Everything flows forth from that essential beginning.
“What does ‘love’ mean, when it is God who loves, God who Himself is Love? Every form of love is a movement from one being towards another with the desire to unite with the other. The directions, forms and varieties of this movement are innumerable. They span the range from less than human to more than human. Yet there is always a tendency toward union, toward a desire for union, whether possessive or sacrificial.
“My Love for persons is a movement of myself toward them, not only to be known by them or to be in some way imitated by them. That movement allows me to unite myself to them, to give myself to them.
“My Love, Love in its incorruptible essence, Love without limits, is never entirely absent. God is never absent. At times such Love seems barely to exist, yes. It can be undetectable, covered by hatred, by all sorts of perversions, or by a layer of instinctive brutality. Yet I still work through it. No matter how deformed love may be, I can make it rise to the level of a conscious and total gift. Love has a great many different aspects, it’s true. But there is only one Love.
“You are loved. Isn’t there a place for the most ‘insignificant’ person in the flame of the Burning Bush? A soul, a person whom I love, though, is not insignificant. You are loved. It is you whom I love. This is no universal affirmation; I’m not speaking here about groups of people. I am speaking about you.
“Certainly you are all, collectively, my ‘beloved,’ whom I have created by my Love. You are members of a single body, which is my own Body. But now, my child, I am speaking to a single person: to you, and to no one else. I am calling you by a name I have given to no one else.
“Yes, I am calling you by a secret name, one reserved for you from all eternity. It is a different name from the one others use to address you. It is the name written on a white stone, a name no one knows, except (if they are attentive to the gift) the person who receives it.
“In the heart of God there is given to each of you the possibility to discover and make apparent to others a different facet of the unique Diamond. You yourself are that facet. Whatever life may have handed you, you are a unique aspect, a particular aspect, of the link that joins each person to divine Love. You are a ray of Love, shining forth from Love, even if at times that ray may seem broken….”