God is a prodigal lover. He confounds expectations as often as He meets them. God likes to do things His own way. He is, after all, Love itself, as St. John tells us (1 Jo. 4:8). And when Jesus reached for a stand-in figure for God’s longsuffering love, He chose the tirelessly patient and compassionate father of a prodigal son (Luke 15), a template for fathers everywhere. For all His seemingly erratic ways, God came through, regardless, and provided evidence of His love for us dismal creatures in sending His Son, the glorious Second Person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ ( 1 Jo. 4:10).
Today, however, is an age wherein the very concept of love has been cheapened; it’s barely recognizable for many denizens of this planet who have become humbled and dulled through indulgence of their lusts, sometimes defining the exercising of those same lusts as ‘rights’.
The Internet is – among many other things – an electronic ghetto and playground, if you will, where all sorts of diversions and perversions are advertised. I need not spell them out for you; you know what I’m talking about. We are wedded to our phones and other entertainment devices, and the chains are evident. We are in bondage, but we adore our slavery.
Beyond our limited gaze, the love of God for us continues, unabated and strong. In the arena of this world, we often come to know hardship, sacrifice because we choose to show His love. St. Maximilian Kolbe – a man who knew what it was to give his all for the love of another – once said, “Without sacrifice, there is no love” (read Kolbe’s amazing story of sacrificial love https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=370).
After all, it’s easy to become self-deluded, and with all of the above in mind, I bring you another poem: The Ebb Of The Old One:
At the appearance of full-fleshed civilization,
the lights go out on our cosmic lover.
What price the absence of super-romance?
The thrill of Earth’s pull weighs upon soul,
while the shout of peripatetic prayer addressed
to no one in particular, is mumbled incoherently into
throngs of cellphones. Our secret selves are therefore
supplanted and forgotten. The greater show
is given the heave-ho for a lesser probation.
“I gotta go, God! There’s no time
for naked beauty to save me again!