A Sacramental Love

Edward Holloway FAITH Magazine September - October 2007

A 1985 mediataion by Fr Edward Holloway, the then Parish Priest of Esher

Church of the Holy Name, Esher. Parish Newsletter for Sunday July 11th: 15th of the year.

Said a certain very young man to me once “I get scared when I think of heaven going on, and on, and on. It even made me cry once. I think I will get so bored”. I was able to reassure him, but that would be rather too long for a newsletter. Said the same sage on another occasion “I have often thought I would like to meet God. I often wonder what He is really like. I wonder at times if I would like Him if I knew Him“. Well, Cardinal Newman, not me, makes the point that while religion must be expressed in creeds and propositions, because the plan of God is organised and structured, our Faith is not about propositions, our Faith is not a code of conduct. Religion is God’s self-disclosure of Himself, revealed in human form in Jesus Christ. The personality of God, putting it in human terms, isrevealed in Our Lord, and if you love Him now, you would have loved Him then, not otherwise. You would love Him for the depth and beauty of his personality, not his physical attractiveness, though He must have been a noble human figure to know and understand. It is a point worth pondering: “I wonder if I would like Him if I met Him”. He was the revelation of truth, beauty of being, goodness, and sheer integrity. It is worth making the point that not everybody did like Jesus Christ. So, you were not compelled in any physical sense to like Him. You would have liked Him if he had been your sort of person, saying, being, and living the way you like to be, or at least would like to follow with a lot of encouragement from a leader. The higher people were in society the less they seemed to likeJesus Christ. The higher you go and are, the more I suppose you accept and work on certain presuppositions, that condition your enjoyment of power, your actions, and your integrity in dealing with other people. I suppose we don’t notice it, but we make so many compromises with human snobbery, human sin, human error, and human greed, the nearer we are to the top in ruling other men. The ordinary people were in awe and admiration of Jesus Christ. They certainly sensed that He was someone utterly different, or certainly a very great Prophet. Would you say they loved Him? I doubt it. The young and sincere, the old and very deep, the woman in the crowd who lifted up her voice and blessed Him... these did. Most found Him just a bit too much, just a bit too demanding. Someone to get excitedabout, but not someone to identify with, someone to love and follow. We have to ask ourselves would I have loved Him, given Him myself, followed his every invitation? If I draw back from Him now, it is not likely I would have been any different then. Yet, He was the disclosure of all that is good and lovable, noble, and most fulfilling in human life. Whether we would have loved Him and declared ourselves for Him, given our life over to Him... this is a measure of whether we really understand our Faith, really love God, really understand what life and beauty is about. Would I have liked Him if I knew Him? Be more generous, look into yourself now... for whether we like Him or not, or would have is a judgment not on Him, But on ourselves, our own quality.

Another Hollowayan snippet

Faith Magazine

September - October 2007