“All love tends towards ecstasy,” Thomas Merton writes, “in the sense that it takes us out of ourselves and makes us live in the object of our love.” For the God who is love, this ecstasis is relentless and inexhaustible—its mystery, as Shusaku Endo observes, “unyieldingly bends its weight against our hearts.” Love lies in the manger in the only was love can, fully itself as vulnerably outside of itself, made flesh and dwelling amongst us.
Christ’s coming invites us all to our own ecstasy, to a move outside of ourselves in love—giving food to the hungry and comfort to the sorrowful, clothes to the naked and compassion to the broken. He invites us to so live with him, to live in love, and so to live in God.
How wondrous for us that God so loved the world.
Andrew Staron is an assistant professor of theology at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia.