For better or worse, I see myself as a strong subscriber to the aspect of modern spiritual thought which entertains a re-thinking of the essential message that man has strong tendencies toward sinfulness and hardness of heart, but that this is overcome by God’s love. Martin Luther, who was a spiritually forward thinker, in his time expressed this with the words pecca fortiter (sin bravely) emphasizing the love and forgiveness of God for individuals who sincerely struggle with being faithful but keep falling short. It’s a comforting security blanket to embrace, and what it says about God’s role in the matter I believe is true. But I think a bit more needs to be said about an individual’s role in the relationship.
One cannot offhandedly and boldly choose to sin bravely because of God’s unconditional love. In my opinion the modern re-thinking is only valid when it’s based on a mature and well-thought-out understanding of a love relationship. The union, the marriage, the coupling, the mutuality takes two to be complete. In this we are flawed.
We have loved someone without being loved by them. Our love is genuine and true, but it is not complete. There is no union. This is the position in which we put God even when we falter and rely on His forgiveness. I messed up – and He still loves me; and that’s true! But because of His constant forgiveness I want to love Him more and better. I want to aspire to the unconditional quality of His love for me in my love for Him – but I keep tripping over myself.
I think this is what Fr. Anthony DeMello’s tenet of “accepting life” is all about. We have to accept the fact that as we are we cannot complete the union as it should be. It can only be completed by God Himself when He creates in us the unconditional state that completes the union which is our destiny. Our part in that is the “accepting” and “striving” which are affirmed by two recurring themes You taught to Your disciples: