This is tangential, but read Nonna’s latest post please. She’s so much more eloquent than I and she expresses things so well. An excerpt:
Christ’s Love is a suffering love… it is compassionate – with passion (in the ancient sense) – it suffers with others, and so bears their burdens. I’ve said it before… Love hurts. It hurts to see people hungry, to see them in pain, to see them dying… When we love someone our hearts are laid bare for them. They will hurt us – whether by words, or deeds (or non-deeds) – by dying, or by suffering in front of us – by misunderstandings, or disagreements – by joys unshared, or expectations unmet… in some way we will be hurt. And that is when we can become more like Christ… it is then our life can live out the truth, “I must decrease, and He must increase.” Real love remembers the Truth beyond the pain… and it realizes the pain is an integral part of the joy. Love is the ultimate “bright-sadness” – as the times of the Fasts teach us…
So, how do we learn this love? We don’t… we live it. And we take the time to stop, to remember… we are to love everyone. Not just those who love us… We are to love the cold-hearted, the uncaring… we must remember that we need them. They are the ones who make us more and more like the One Who is Love.
Thinking about Christmas, the baby in the manger, has made me bitter a few times in the last week. My baby will be in the cold ground by then. But the honest reality of that incarnation is terrible. One of the gifts of the magi was myrrh. The Theotokos, in all of the icons depicting her with the infant Christ, is sad. The spear has already pierced her heart. As mothers we must remember that spear any time a child is conceived. Because on this earth, all life ends in death. But all death ends in life everlasting.