I came across the following quotation a few days ago when I was clearing out some files. It had hung on the wall of my office when I was teaching.
The love of God is like a fire in our hearts that burns brighter and brighter, and the sparks that fly out from it are all our smaller loves, which belong to it and fall back into the fulness of the flame. It is a fire that carries us up with it to the supreme goodness of God, in which all smaller loves are turned into the love of God.
Therefore, we cannot simply say that we love ourselves or our neighbour, for we love them with a love that is wholly consumed by God, since we are unable to see anything but God’s very Self
[St Aelred of Rievaulx.]
I thought about these words last Sunday, when we were able to be back in church for the first time since Christmas. The great east window in St Peter and St Paul’s church is always a joy – but suddenly it seemed to take on a new significance. From the bottom right hand corner (as you look at) with its picture of the annunciation of Jesus’s birth, to the glory of Christ in Majesty in the centre of the window, it depicts the love of God in the life story of our dear Lord, Jesus. Jesus’s life is the love of God poured out for all of us. In this window it is all there for us to see and to experience.
There is no need for words, the love of God is tumbling over itself to get out – and, if we let it, it will wholly consume us.