The Love Story at the Heart of Christianity

Frank Wesley

In a recent post Chris talks of the desire to dream of Jesus. But then he answers his own ‘quest’ or question by saying: “Jesus does not need to “come to me” in a dream because his home — who is Love, more real than any dream — already lives in me. And then he goes on to say: Can I believe it? Can I quiet myself long enough to feel it? To me, this sounds like what might be called agape. Whereas the longing itself, desire for the Beloved,  is another kind of love – Eros.

At the heart of Christianity there is also love for a particular ‘other’ which is about Eros. Eros is nothing if not about dreaming, wishing, longing, fantasy ………… There is a quality to Rumi’s poetry that captures this kind of love:

Love has taken away my practices

and filled me with poetry

I tried to keep quietly repeating,

No strength but yours,

but I couldn’t.

I had to clap and sing.

I used to be respectable and chaste and stable,

but who can stand in this strong wind

and remember those things?


In our own tradition we have the Song of Songs:

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth:

for thy love is better than wine …….


Upon my bed at night

I sought him whom my soul loves,

I sought him, but I did not find him.

I will rise and make the rounds of the city,

In the streets and crossings

I will seek him whom my soul loves………..


Behold thou art fair my love,

Behold thou art fair ………


Anointing Jar
Quentin Massys

As we go into Lent we would do well to remember the story that has been expunged from our tradition of

the deep love between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. She was not only his Beloved companion but anointed him prior to the crucifixion.

She was there at the foot of the cross when he died. She participated in his entombment and she was the first witness to his resurrection.

When we recover this Icon of the Beloved which is not simply about themselves but emptying and opening to include ‘other’, then a deep source of love and generativity flows out abundantly into the world.  It is an Icon of Divine Love as the flow of Eros and Agape.

Fra Angelico

Meet me

where the river meets the sea

Naked now

Innocent and free


I have be waiting throughout time

Fra Angelico

To welcome you

Into these arms of mine ……….

And trust me

Trust the beingness you are

I breathed you here

I carried you thus far

And open

To whatever is you see

Whatever is

Is always only me

Not in imagined futures

Or in remembered past

But only here and

Only now

Will you find a peace that lasts


Meet me where the river meets the sea

Naked now innocent and free


                 ~ Kirtana

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