This is why I do what I do. I can only say, “Amen and Amen” on this one… again Richard Rohr from the end of Adam’s Return:
Age upon age, the ancients, the Egyptians, the Native peoples, and most major religions dreamed of immortality and tried to prepare for it and assure it… We can’t and won’t let go of this wonderful thing called life.
And not just life, but eternal love too. If God is so patient and merciful and forgiving and accepting with us day after day in this world, which most religions teach, then why not believe the same is true after death? Why would God change God’s tactics or attitude about us when we die? Really! Isn’t God one? Isn’t God consistent? Is our little human love somehow better than God’s? I wouldn’t betray or turn on someone that way, I hope; yet we are foolish enough to believe that God would. The gratuitous nature of life finally becomes the gratuitous nature of love too! Just as life is unearned, so is God’s love because God’s very nature is to love.
Yes, we are going to die, but we have already been given a kind of inner guarantee and promise right now that death is not final – and it takes the form of love… Only love in us can see love over there, which is why God commands us to love. It is not a test or a trial; it is just that until you love yourself, you will not be able to see or allow or enjoy love over there…
It is the simple experience of love in the ordinary ways that human experience love, that imprints on our soul something like this: if love always feels so limitless and unearned and nonrational, then reality itself must be limitless, unearned, and a bit irrational too! That is the heart of all human hope. We cannot make God love us more, and we cannot make God love us less. We do not have that kind of power because God simply is love, and God’s love is not determined or changed by its object. It comes from the inner nature of God, who is love (1 John 4:16). What follows, of course, is that if we are God’s creature, then maybe love is what we are too. Love is not something we do or ever do perfectly, but love is something that we are, something we rest in, and something we learn to draw upon and live in, through, and with.
As Catherine of Siena said so perfectly: “It is heaven all the way to heaven.” If you have it now, you will have it then. Love itself, the patterns and persistence of it, the ubiquity and irrationality of it, the wonder and mystery of it, is the code and key to understanding everything else. Absolutely everything. Most simply when we live in love, we will not be afraid to die.
We have built a bridge between worlds.