In his Spiritual Canticle, St. John of the Cross writes of this longing to receive the fullness of God Himself:
Ah, who has the power to heal me?now wholly surrender yourself!Do not send meany more messengers,they cannot tell me what I must hear.
Jesus calls John the Baptist "the greatest born of woman," but even this greatest man to be born pales in comparison to the Son of God. John is the "friend of the bridegroom"--the "best man," as we would say at a wedding today. John says,
"He who has the bride is the bridegroom; the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice; therefore this joy of mine is now full. He must increase, but I must decrease" (Jn 3:29-30).Just as the "best man" isn't the one the guests come to see and honor, John cannot tell us what Jesus has come to tell us, but as he decreases he can point to Jesus. As we come to the end of the liturgical year, what do we need to let go of--whether external or internal--in order to receive the Divine Life that God is offering us, so that everything about ourselves draws others to God?
In the monastery, at the start of the liturgical year we receive from Mother our "obediences"--our tasks, or chores--for the year. Some of these obediences we enjoy and some are a struggle for us! By trying to carry out these obediences faithfully and joyfully, we empty ourselves and allow God to fill us.
Let's all make an effort to let go of something at the end of this liturgical year, and at the start of the new year, September 1st, let's ask God to fill us with His love in a deeper, more complete way.