Daily Reading for April 3 • Richard, Bishop of Chichester, 1253
Day by day, dear Lord, of you three things I pray: to see you more clearly, love you more dearly, follow you more nearly, day by day.
We do not find an end to our restlessness in this life, but we may find the beginning of this end when in love’s worship and prayer we go outside or beside ourselves. And for Richard, as we have seen, relationship with God found its most intimate expression in his sense of kinship with the living presence of God in Jesus. This is how he could best know and love God. His love for Jesus, as the movement of Richard’s three petitions suggests, is the centerpiece of the triptych of his prayer: seeing, loving, and following. A triptych is a painting on three panels that are joined by hinges, so that the two sides can fold over the central panel. With love as the centerpiece, the eyes of faith may move back and forth from knowing the Lord more clearly and to following more nearly by and through loving more dearly. Love is the heart of the relationship. Without love, as Paul put it, all other skills and talents make one but “a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1), for “the only thing that counts is faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). Love, reaching out beyond self, is enabled to see and follow more nearly. And here, at the heart of knowing and following, the soul of our human awareness finds at least a measure of contentment in recognizing its deepest desire. It rests in the love and loving of the beloved. It knows that there is no other way of knowing and wishes to follow in the way that there is no other way of going.
Letting go, quieting down from anxiety and competitiveness, the loving heart may for a time have no further need of words. There may arise the silence of lovers who have done all they can to express and embody their love. No more is needed. Love is in the silence. Love is the silence. Such loving silence seems the keenest adoration, full of harmony and love’s peace.
From Day by Day: Loving God More Dearly by Frederick Borsch. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. www.morehousepublishing.com