While going through a box of old papers, I was surprised to come across the following words in my own handwriting:
February 1989 – Lani Bogart
It is in journeying TOGETHER that we are able to glimpse the true meaning of Perfect Love. Because we fail each other so miserably we see even more our great need for the Creator and Savior who is Christ.
So then, our failings and the suffering we inflict upon each other, far from being an excuse to remain hidden and alone, are the very crux of the argument that we need each other.
We need each other without pretense, walls, or niceties. We need to see who we are so we can comprehend Who He Is.
I penned these words before Guatemala, before Xhiv’s surprise arrival into our family, before our embrace of Catholicism, and 33 years before Evan’s untimely death.
Evan prized togetherness and knew he needed both family and friends. He strove to live without pretense. Painfully aware of his own hypocrisy, he grew less judgmental of others, It irked him that we form opinions about others based on our first impression, rather than getting to know them. He was trying to do better.
I grapple with the line I wrote all those years ago about comprehending God. How can we mere mortals, even if we love others to the best of our ability, comprehend who God is?
And yet, St. Paul prays for his readers (us) to comprehend the “love of Christ that surpasses knowledge”.
Maybe comprehension can only take place in our hearts through faith. By faith we know that Christ, through his Incarnation, Passion, Death and Resurrection made a way for the One Triune God to indwell us, body and soul.
Such knowing both necessitates and goes beyond an intellectual assent, a grasp of a lovely idea. The intellect may believe, or may struggle to believe, while the heart responds to every act of faith, hope, or love with an expansive strength that cannot be willed or forced, any more than a child can will himself to grow more muscular or several inches taller.
Our heart’s capacity for love naturally grows stronger as we allow Christ’s heart to sink its love roots deep into our hearts. His Divine Presence expands our heart’s capacity to give and receive love.
While our outward circumstances or inner struggles may deluge us with every emotion, including shocking terror and crushing sorrow, we can remain grounded; confident of God’s love at work in and through us.