All giving springs, unceasingly,
from the wellspring of acceptance.
Eternal Father, you do not give yourself
to your only-begotten Son blindly,
but your pouring-out of all you are
is, mysteriously, a response to the beauty
which you see and know in him.
Yet he is also constituted
by the very gift you give,
the Son begotten eternally
by the love of the most loving Father.
And for him, my God, as Son,
his gift is only the echo
of the sounding of your own,
the surging back of what surged forth from you,
the spontaneous response of love to love,
a smile of joy springing from the smile
of the One who gazes
and rejoices in what he sees.
We glimpse this, God, within our world,
as partial and fragmentary as our experience is.
You have safeguarded, sheltered
a place of love in the midst
of the brokenness of this creation,
and you never cease, lovingly,
to draw all of us back to yourself.
When a woman looks upon her child
resting within her arms,
she smiles in spontaneous joy
at the beauty, the pure gift that she sees.
And the child knows, unhesitatingly,
that he or she is loved, known, affirmed,
and so smiles back, loving for love,
indeed feeling that Love enfolds them both,
a Love that has given them to one another.
The child, and the mother too, feels that
Love is indeed everything,
Love enfolds and shelters all
in its never-ending, strong embrace,
preserving all in the joy of intimacy,
never broken, radiant, and sure.
This is an image of who you are, my God,
an eternal Communion of Love:
Father loving Son, and Son loving Father,
in the single Smile, the Kiss, the Embrace
who is the Spirit of Love you share.
This pure love, within our world,
this love that enfolds the two together
in a secure and consoling embrace,
is nonetheless threatened with dissolution.
For the security that the child knew
can be called into question
the first time they are lost in a supermarket
or await a mother to come who forgets the time.
The heart cries out in fright:
where are you?
Where are the sheltering arms of love?
Or even worse, when love itself is broken
in the heart of the family
in neglect or in abuse.
This love which promised
to safeguard and enfold all things,
this smile of certain joy,
is called into question,
something so fragile.
Can you restore, my God,
our certainty in love?
Can you again give us the experience
of the Love that is embracing us,
stronger than every fright or division?
When a mother plays peek-a-boo
with her child, there is no fear,
for the child knows that she is not gone,
but anticipates, in certainty and joy,
the new and deeper revelation of her face.
The child rejoices, again and again,
in seeing those beautiful features
which are the first revealed to infant’s-eyes.
Your Son, dear Father,
knew this immense, spontaneous joy
as he gazed upon his loving mother.
A little child gazing into the face
of the child who was holding him.
And she rejoiced, my God,
to gaze into the face of her God,
yet also of the baby who is her Son.
As he nursed at her breast
she gave him all she is, freely,
her substance, her blood, her life.
And he received, trustingly,
all she is, her love, her being,
and, in her, he knew, already,
that he received not her alone,
but the immensity of Love from you, Father.
Love enfolded the two of them,
the Love which is yours eternally.
Love in her and Love in him,
Love binding them together, unbroken.
And the gift he received from her, my God,
he received also from you, unceasingly.
The mother is transparent, in her littleness,
to the greatness of the Father.
And the Son, Son of Mary and Son of God,
grows also to manhood,
a Bridegroom of the woman
and an image of the eternal Father.
The gift he received, and always receives,
he gives unreservedly too.
He gives his substance, his blood, his life,
to those whom he loves,
resting against his breast.
And his breast, indeed,
is opened completely
as he hangs upon the Cross,
pouring out the love within,
the fullness of God present there.
And the woman, the child and mother
who stands at the foot of his Cross
with the beloved disciple at her side,
is at this time a bride too
of the Bridegroom of all humanity.
And the Bridegroom is also,
above all, a Child, a Son,
wedding himself also to another child,
who is his Spouse given to him by you, Father.
Yet this also means that he accepts into himself,
unreservedly, all that she is and has.
He descends down to her lowly place
where she dwells in a realm of fragmented love.
He takes it upon his shoulders,
yes, into his intimate Heart,
taking her, unreservedly,
and pressing her to his breast.
This embrace, indeed, is filled with pain,
but there is, mysteriously, a greater joy.
Childlike trust and certainty:
the Son can never lose the Father’s Love,
nor can the cord that binds them be broken.
Even when, for a moment, Father,
you hide your face,
you do so only to reveal it more deeply.
Or, rather, the Son takes up the anguish
which belongs to us, bearing it in its fullness,
so that the penetrating eyes of his love
may, at last, break through the darkness
and illumine it by their light.
How could you, Father,
indeed ever really truly hide?
No, but you are there, present
in the suffering Heart of your Son,
as the Son is now, as purest Joy,
present in the inmost solitude of our hearts too.
Yes, Love has found us
in the most vulnerable, defenseless place,
and here has enfolded us again in his embrace,
sheltering, consoling, and giving strength,
begetting unbreakable, sure, and certain joy
in hearts that have again found Love.
Present deep within, and enclosing us
in the eternal dialogue which is yours,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit too,
the blessed exchange of intimacy, bliss.
We rest now, at every moment,
against the welcoming breast of the Son,
as his heartbeat flows out, unceasingly,
the fullness of blood and life and love,
giving to us, not only him, but you, Father,
and, through the Spirit, surging silent, full,
draws us all back, at last,
into the heart of your embrace.