I Am my Beloveds . . . . .
. . . . . And my Beloved is mine.
‘I am my Beloveds and my Beloved is mine’
I Just want you to take a second to repeat those words back to yourself, either in your minds eye, or in a whisper ~ Breathe those words down into the very depth of your being. And let them infuse and resonate within you.
‘I am my Beloveds and my Beloved is mine’.
What a beautiful affirmation to begin and to close every day with. What a beautiful and perfect affirmation that we have been given ~ that we as women, can offer up to our Lord each day. What a beautiful affirmation and pure gift, our Lord has blessed us with. That ‘I am my Beloveds, and that my Beloved is mine.’
I have no problem referring to Our Lord as My.
I think of Mary Magdalene in John 20:13 when she is distressed at the empty tomb, and the angels say ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ and Mary says ‘They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they have put him.’ ~ She doesn’t say ‘they have taken Our Lord away’ She doesn’t say ‘they have taken The Lord away’; as it refers to Him in other parts of the Gospel. She says ‘They have taken My Lord away.
And in this one phrase alone Mary Magdalene shows us how we too can become beloveds of Christ.
St. Thomas Aquinas, once wrote, ʻThe greater the love, the greater the desire. And desire in some sort prepares & opens the one who desires to receive the one who is desiredʼ. (ST. 1.q.12)
The poet Rumi says ‘you cannot learn about Love, he says that Love appears on the wings of Grace.’
The word beloved itself is a very special word; a place of grace. ~ It is Trinity. In order to be someone’s beloved, we have to open ourselves up and allow for ourselves to Be! To Be Loved ~ and in order to be Loved we need to feel the Love of the Lover.
But there’s more to it that that ~ there’s an intimate invitation to respond ~ there is a response required.
In order to have a beloved and to be a beloved, we need to allow the Lover to Love us, and we need in response to Love the Lover ~ and in our Loving ~ our Belovedness reveals even more Love. And so our response becomes both an openness to being receptive to the Love afforded us, and an openness to respond to our Beloved as only a lover could respond. The revelation is an intimate relationship of endless Love.
When two Beloveds respond to each other in this way, the greatest revelation of all is revealed ~ The revelation of God; God who is Love and Spirit.
The relationship of the Trinity who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit we see echoed in other intimate relationships throughout the Gospel. We see it echoed in the relationship between The Father, Mary & Joseph, we see it in the relationship between Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus, we see it in the relationship between Mary of Bethany, Martha and Jesus. And we see it in the relationship between Mary Magdalene, Jesus and the Father. This is evident when Jesus says to Mary outside the tomb ‘I am ascending to my God and your God, to my Father and your Father’. And so we see it echoed in every beloved relationship the world over when God is present as part of that relationship. When the Holy Spirit bestows Love, we see the deeper imprint and reflection of the Love of the Trinity.
And the ‘My’ ~ is our invitation and our ‘belonging’ in this intimacy. By allowing ourselves both to be loved, and to respond in Love. ~ Only then can we become Beloveds of God.
All this is easier said than done. This takes a great leap of faith. To place ourselves in this vulnerable position, at times can be excruciatingly painful. To allow ourselves the risk of Loving, and to be met by unlove, unjust behaviour, or worse still to be held other; by a world that isn’t particularly good at loving can be very humiliating. And especially in our own secular society where faith of any kind can be rejected out of hand, when outwardly expressed; we can all to easily cease to have the courage to share our Love.
But to feel ~ to live ~ to breathe ~ and to innately know and hold onto the truth ‘That I Am my Beloveds and my Beloved is mine’ ~ is one of the most beautiful blessings bestowed upon us ~ and one of the most precious gifts of Grace, that God has entrusted to us as women ~ as daughters ~ for some of us as mothers ~ and for us all, as beloveds. To be So secure in His Love, that we cannot help but be radiant before others because of it, is pure gift.
To be Loved as a Beloved by the Son, is to be Loved as a Daughter by the Father.
So how do we get to this heightened state of Love? How do get to this vulnerable place of exposure? How do we get to this beautiful place of arousal, where I am my Beloveds and my Beloved is mine ~ as in the Song of Songs ~ where I am to be filled with such yearning and Love ~ without feeling like I am just one of many mistresses; but that in dignity and belovedness, I am especially chosen?
The answer is by Falling in Love.
One of the most beautiful and special pieces of writing that I have ever been witness to; that I can ever claim to be truth ~ are the words below. These words came at the precise time that God called me to Love. To Fall in Love with All of my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
These words are attributed to the Jesuit Fr Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907–1991)
“Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in Love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”
I have no doubt that all of us are here on the Beloved weekend because we needed or wanted a retreat ~ maybe because we wanted to spend some focused time in Gods loving gaze. Maybe some of us needed healing, and to feel His unconditional Love ~ And maybe some of us are here because we want to serve, and to feel an accepted part of a family in Christ.
But it may also be, that God has called us All here this weekend ~ to Fall a little more in Love.
I have always thought That expression brilliant. ~ ‘To Fall in Love’. It is my lesser reasoning that suggests that we don’t fall in Love but that we Rise in Love. But the person that first ever came up with that phrase was far cleverer that I. Because now that I am a Christian, I know that you can only rise high if you Fall ~ in Love. I think of the book of Genesis, and of the new metaphor that I have heard of Christ being the new Adam, and Mary being the new Eve.
I think of the natural world of Gods creation of Autumn Fall + Spring Rise. I think of the awesome waterfalls joining the great sea, and of the transformation of the oceans and the hydrologic cycle of the rains, feeding the humus (the soil) ~ bringing life to the flora and fauna.
I heard a Buddhist tale the other day about a single drop of rain that didn’t want to fall from a rain cloud, because it was scared to let go. It was scared of dying and no longer being a raindrop. But the raindrop was told by the Buddha to allow itself to fall from the Heavens and land upon the earth below, thus allowing itself to give life to a parched seedling. In its desperate sadness the raindrop let go and eventually fell to the earth, and only then a miracle happened, the falling raindrop brought life to the desperately parched seedling, which in turn bloomed into beautiful radiant flowers ~ which in turn returned to seed, which in turn brought new life.
This tale reminded me of Jesus’ parable in John 12:24 ‘In all truth I tell you, unless a wheat grain falls into the earth and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies it yields a rich harvest.’
So how do we do this Falling in Love? How do we do this falling in Love without falling out of Love, like so often happens in todays world? How do we become so in Love, that that Love radiates us, and radiates Out of us to others? ~ Well there are little clues, and little signposts, and little inspirations everywhere. But first of all we have to learn to be truly intimate ~ and we can only be truly intimate with somebody if we learn how to trust. We can slowly re-teach ourselves to Trust by being obedient ~ but don’t be put off by this word ~ because the word obedient means to listen. It is no mistake, that the word listen and the word silent are made up of the same letters. When we are silent, we learn to listen. In listening we are being obedient to God, and in being obedient to God, we hear His call ~ and when we hear His call, He shows us how to be intimate with Him. And God has given us the most beautiful way of being So.
He has given us prayer.
Prayer is the braille of the soul. It is here where our blindness is given a new language. It is here where God meets us in all our brokenness, sorrow, hope and joy. It is here where God alone (God who is Love & Spirit) intimately communes with us in the deepest way imaginable ~ in all our nakedness. :O)
And it is beautiful.
It is here where God Loves us so intimately and uniquely, that he teaches us how to Love intimately and uniquely in response. It is here where he restores, transplants and transforms our hearts. It is here through this doorway within, that Our Lord comes to us and Loves us unconditionally, replenishing us in all our belovedness ~ and it is from this wellspring of Love that we are nourished, and that we overflow with the fruit of the Spirit ~ that we may go out and serve others in Loving kindness. It is through this very same doorway, that one day we shall go hand in hand, else carried over the threshold by our Beloved, to Life Eternal.
It is here that Jesus asks ‘Who do you say I Am?’
And It is here where we can choose to respond
I Am my Beloveds and my Beloved is mine.