With a suitcase?
Br Tadeusz Rucinski, F.S.C.
Many people come to love with... a suitcase. Some come with an empty suitcase because they only want to take without giving anything. Others with a full one since they only want to give without receiving anything. Both groups do not really know what love is about. If someone comes to love only with an 'burning' need of love, almost hunger for love, with expectation that cannot be satisfied, like a beggar to a banquet, he can suffer from indigestion because of his greediness and finally he will dislike the one from whom he only wanted to take. If someone comes to a party, which has been made for him, with ... his own food and he will not help himself to anything and set the table with 'his own food', others will dislike him because of his contempt for the one who wanted to give. In both cases one comes with a suitcase (heart) full of your 'self' but love means to discover the treasure of some 'YOU' and as if to give up (at least partly) one's 'self' (whether 'self' is hungry or full).
That brings back to my mind a holiday image. She - like Anne of Green Gables - charmed by the peace and beauty of a country garden, spends several hours every day ... on a tree. Quite high, among the branches because there is some sort of a nest made from planks, and from that place she watches the landscape, reads something or meditates. She only takes a bottle of water, and something to read and write. Her cousin - explicitly fascinated by her beauty and imagination - wants to be with her up there but she draws back a rope ladder. Finally, he manages to convince her to let him up, but he brings a rucksack with sandwiches and beer, laptop, newspapers... Lowering the ladder she says, 'Leave all these things because the ladder will not hold you'. However, her cousin climbs the ladder with his luggage... One rung breaks under the burden of his body, another rung breaks and the boy falls down. The ladder goes up and a voice is heard, 'One comes to the hermitage with empty hands. If you could not leave anything, how could you receive something here?'
Perhaps there is some secret in this that one should come to love with emptied hands and heart. Maybe a heart full of various hungers and claims or similarly a heart full of conceit and self-sufficiency is closed to love. Maybe one should give up both so that something completely new, unexpected and created together, could happen. Maybe this is the secret of Grace that wonderfully equips someone who can leave something, who can give up without regrets in order to make room for an unexpectedly big treasure. God wants to lavish those who give... Once the pop group 'Pod buda' sand a song about an old big suitcase, which at first was dearly loved but then left. 'What for does one wander with a suitcase in heaven? - They have everything there!'