Holy Manna: March 8, 2023

Holy Manna: A Lenten Devotional for St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Read: John 3:1-17

…For God sent the Son into the cosmos not that he might pass judgment on the cosmos, but that the cosmos might be saved through him. (Excerpt translated by David Bentley Hart)

How can we show agape to one another? How can “a divine and soul-changing love” be transmitted through us?

This will happen naturally as we personally accept the truth that it is the whole cosmos that God loves, a realization that creates in us the desire to love everyone and everything for the sake of God. This involves a discipline of prayer, quite simply. One has to trust Divine Love, to pay attention and listen. Richard Meux Benson describes this process:

The Divine love enlarges the heart in proportion to the correspondence of the saint with the Sanctifier. The more we exercise God’s love, the more does he strengthen us with the capacity of doing every thing in love to Himself. We grow to that which God Himself is until we lose ourselves in God. (Love’s Redeeming Work: The Anglican Quest for Holiness, p. 449)

We can’t transmit that which isn’t in us to transmit. But God is ready at all times to fill us with Love, and then we’ll overflow.

Jesus, I can’t even get my head around the idea of the cosmos, but maybe I could start by getting my head in a space to accept that you really love me completely, and maybe things can go from there. I’ve heard that prayer at church about how you are always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and to give more than we desire or deserve, and so what the heck, do your thing with me. I think I’m ready for that. Amen.
-Fr. Jonathan Weldon