Sunday, March 23, 2008

Prodigies of Love

Frances writes:

This morning over chocolate chip pancakes, David and I were musing about the human capacity to think and learn. When I commented on the unique gifts and challenges that God gives to each individual, David proposed an idea that knocked my mental socks off.

We recently saw two different movies about young prodigies. In Good Will Hunting (I know, I know, the profanities and se*ual references are awful, but the characters are so real) Will has a knack for math theory and organic chemistry. He can also reference and quote any book he's read (and he's read thousands). In August Rush (which we highly recommend, if you haven't seen it already) August hears and plays amazing music. These and other prodigies are incredibly gifted in one area or skill, be it music, painting, or languages.

David writes:

When I learned to make pancakes, no one told me that when you flip them, you have to push them down a little or the middle might be uncooked. I had to bite into a mushy pancake and learn from my mistake. When I think of a prodigy, like those mentioned above, I think of someone who has an innate ability to grasp the intricate details of a skill or concept and critically think to get it right the first time. Like a sculptor, they can mold and maneuver the material and produce something magnificent. They can just see what it's supposed to be and follow through with that vision whereas I would have to spend decades learning how to do what they have a gift for.

I believe that saints are prodigies. They are prodigies of LOVE. They can look at another human being, and with a "heart of flesh" (Ez. 36:26) love them as God would. They can take the love given to them by the Lord and shape it into a work of art beyond normal human ability and then share it wonderfully. Jesus did it first, but saint "prodigies" have opened themselves up to this gift from above ever since.

Frances writes:

The difference between saints and other prodigies is one of possibility. Some people are born with special talents and intelligences; certainly, they must study to expand their knowledge base and practice to keep their skills sharp, but their capacity for excellence is innate - and rare. Sainthood, on the other hand, is open to us all. Every single one of us has the opportunity to surrender our lives completely to God and His gift of love.

God desires this excellence in love for me, but I can't achieve it by my own efforts. I am at the mercy of God, Who (I hope) will help me grow in grace and love by the prayers and example of our community of faith, the Church. Lord, may I never grasp at Your love, but open my heart and my hands in humble receptivity.

We're praying for you all, saints-in-the-making! Please pray for us, too.

Photo credit: David (taken in Holy Trinity Church, Shreveport, LA)

1 comment:

*carrie* said...

What a thought-provoking post. I have seen both of those movies--we just watched August Rush last week. I agree that a prodigy seems to have an innate ability, and I love the idea of that ability being to love others well.