Life is a play about love. We are currently watching what happens when love is thwarted, repressed, personalized, nationalized, militarized. When love is turned in on itself, when it becomes selfishness, it explodes.
This is a hard sell in a culture where the answer to every problem is more. But consider: Our basic biological needs are few, modest and easily met. If we have more than we need, we have too much. Craving sensory stimulation, we chase more and better experiences—more of what we don’t need. Craving is slaving. Every form of wanting, every anticipation, alienates us from the beauty and power of the inexhaustible now. Jesus to the cultivated rich kid: “Sell everything, give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven.” Which is nowhere other than now.
Suspended between wonderment and regret, the man asked, “Why did I do that?” Well, if we are a mystery to ourselves, we do not know ourselves. Knowledge is power. We cannot change what we do not know.
The parable of the Good Samaritan tells us what love is—an uncaused and spontaneous action of the heart. It also tells us what love is not—a good intention, a romance or beautiful words. There’s nothing in it of culture or convention. It makes no distinctions.
We are where we are because the power of women has been systematically repressed for more than 4,000 years. “As regards the sexes,” explained Aristotle, “the male is by nature superior and the female inferior, the male ruler and the female subject.” As it was, so it is. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.