Father, I thank you
for how close you have always been
to me, at every step of my journey,
and how you guide and fashion everything
according to your pure and holy will.
And I thank you, above all,
for how close you have been
simply in the intimacy of abiding
—even when I am not aware,
preoccupied with many other things.
You hold me, Father, you shelter me,
in the tenderness of your embrace.
This, the love of Father for his child,
and the rest of the child in your arms…
this is the enduring, unchanging reality
that abides…that abides through every thing.
May I never forget this restfulness,
the embrace of Lover and beloved,
who simply rejoice in one another
and in the union that they share.
All other things, whatever they may be,
find their meaning only within this
and for the sake of this.
Each person, my God,
you have created for this love,
for the joy of simply abiding
in your all-enveloping, consoling arms.
To abide in the silent embrace
of the perfect Lover,
who simply holds his beloved,
his arms wrapped around her,
unceasingly supporting her…
this, and nothing else,
can truly satisfy the heart.
No activity or achievement,
no experience, no possession
can give rest to our restless souls,
but only your embrace, God of Love,
Father who hold us so gently,
Son who caress and shelter us,
and Spirit who is the vibrating intensity
—-yet the restful peace—of love,
who fill Lover and beloved
and all the space in between.
Do we yearn for more than this,
as if this were not enough?
Or are we rather afraid to face,
in our inmost heart, our restless longing?
Perhaps we fear that Love, in the end,
will not be there for us,
that it will let us down.
O fearful heart, be not afraid!
Though a human person may fail you,
may not love you as you need,
as you, in your beauty, truly deserve—
God will never fail you,
he will never reject you or forget you,
or for a single moment
be far away.
Rather, his love is an overflowing torrent
pouring forth unceasingly from that Sacred Heart,
which, in order to truly show you, in vulnerability,
how much he loves you—you, unrepeatably—
allows itself to be rent open, naked,
to make itself a gift for you
and to welcome you deep within,
into the abiding repose, the security,
the restfulness and joy of his eternal embrace.
Do not allow the many things around you,
nor the woundedness and fear within,
to hold you back from surrender
into his loving and welcoming arms.
For he yearns for you, dear child,
he thirsts for you, beloved one.
Yes, this, and this alone does he desire:
to hold you gently in his arms,
and there to reveal to you…
to fill you completely
with the abundance of his love.
Your heart may ask:
“But how do I surrender?”
O, if only you knew,
beloved one, so precious…
Surrender is not a matter
of “gathering up” yourself
in order to make it, in some way,
a gift to him in selfless gesture.
True surrender is only this, beloved:
to relax into the arms
that are already holding you.
Do you see, little one?
You may be afraid, frustrated
that the weakness within you
is a hindrance to his love.
But do you understand
that your limitation
is in no way a limitation
to his love which enfolds you?
Even when your heart is closed
and locked tight in fear,
he simply passes through the walls
and stands in your midst,
making his dwelling in your heart.
And his voice gently echoes:
Peace be with you, my child.
Receive, beloved, my love.
Before you have even said “yes”
with all of your heart
(for how could you?)
he already gives you the gift,
the awesome gift that you desire.
And this very gift—do you see?—
already lives deep inside of you,
and even when you do not see or feel it,
it sustains and shelters you at every moment.
And not only this,
but the gift of love that you,
beloved child, have received,
and continue to receive always
—as the God of life gives you,
in each instant, the gift of life—
this gift already awakens,
deep within your inmost heart,
the “yes” that you desire,
but feel incapable of giving.
Yes, child, be silent and still,
and you will notice,
as his love surges deep within you,
that in the “Yes” of his love for you
your own responding “yes”
is already perfectly contained.