There is a fear in this land and in Europe. It is the fear of Love. This may sound strange, as most people think they are seeking Love. They desire sex, attention, status, money, things all in the name of desiring Love.
But, Love is none of those things. Love is an encounter, a meeting, an event. Love is both Life and the openness to Life.
The fear I see in those who run away from this encounter may be divided into four parts.
The first is the fear of being known. To be known for who one is in the truest aspect of one's being, to be really known is the key to Love. Love seeks to be known and to know.
But, many people do not want to be known. They think that if someone really knew them, they would not be loved. The opposite is true. If these people could be open to Love, they would learn to love themselves as well.
Some hurt, some curse, some huge need for healing keeps these people from wanting to be known.
The second aspect of this fear of Love is the fear of disappointment. Perhaps, a person has loved and been loved by another person. But, then, something went wrong. Perhaps, a person betrayed, or manipulated the person who now is afraid of Love, and runs away.
The third part of the fear of Love is the suspicion one may have that one cannot love back, that one is incapable of loving enough. Again, one may think that one could never return love and this causes pain, the pain of pride.
A possible fourth aspect of the fear of Love is the knowledge that to love is to sacrifice something of one's self, to endure pain, to reach out even when one is at the edge of energy and feeling.
I challenge those who are afraid of Love to look at the One Person Who can change all these parts of fear into courage and even lead one into an adventure of real life. Who can be afraid of a Baby?
Jesus Christ is Love. And, when we are open to Him, He leads us to Love, His Love, to share with others.
Let me answer all the aspects of fear.
One, to be known and to desire to know another is of the essence of Love. But, God loves us "just as we are". He has no false ideas of our sins, our failing, our huge mistakes.
Pride along stands between us and being known by God and by others. To become humble is to be open to being known.
Two, there will be disappointments in relationships with people, but not with a relationship with Christ. He never stops loving us, never, never, never. Again, this fear is based on a pride which denies the Love of God.
Three, I answer that of course, one cannot love back as much as one should. Who do we think we are? Only God loves perfectly, but He can help us towards a perfect love. He can change us to that we can love with His Love, not our own.
Lastly, Love is worth the sacrifice. The joy of Love outweighs the pain.
I hope some can lay aside the fear of Love this Advent and be open.
To me, this is one reason why Christ came as a Baby. How can one reject the innocent Love of the Christ Child, so vulnerable, so poor, so weak? God calls us to become like a little child-trusting, open, unafraid.
Choose Love. Choose Life, this Advent.