Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Jesus Is My Boyfriend

A theme I've seen recurring is the juxtaposition of love for God and romantic love, and I'm of two minds about it.

On the one hand, that sense of "being in love with God" is at the heart of most Christian mysticism and monastic life. That desire to know the presence of God can be powerful, and those times when that presence is felt are as rewarding as any in this life. It is love, love in it's purest and highest form. And it certainly has resonances with the vocabulary of romantic love. There've been times in my adult spiritual life where I've been as embarassingly goony as a first-smitten tweener. Like when every song you hear reminds you of God...not just the predigested Christ-pop [stuff], but everything. kd lang's "Save Me," for instance. Or bjork's "Come to Me."

On the other hand, I think that the monastic vocation is the calling of very few--the desert wanderers, the cloistered one with the distant gaze, the dust-encrusted prophet. Most of us are not loosely enfleshed Seraphs. God's gift of love to us is, to my mind, so immense as to demand from most of us that we act instead as conduits. We are to receive it, be filled by it, and pour it outward into all of the other relationships in our lives. Taking up the mind of Christ, so to speak. In this life, at least, that love transforms and builds up our relationships, rather than replacing them.