by Joe Walker.
I would like to share with you a dream I had shortly after leaving Marian Centre Edmonton where I had served for nineteen years. It was such a vivid dream that I shall never forget it. It goes like this:
At 5:15 a.m., I woke up hearing a persistent knocking on the door (in my dream, that is), so I hurried down to answer it.
Many times in the past while I was stationed at MCE in the inner city, I had been wary, cautious while going to answer the insistent pounding of doors and windows, and sometimes even the crashing of windows being broken. But this time it was different; I was not afraid.
I opened the door and saw a tall young man smiling down at me. He was standing at the corner of the garage near the garbage cans like some of the men do when they are too shy to stand at the door.
I went outside to meet him. As I did so, he waved good-bye and walked away. While doing so, he said, "To leave is to love." Then he vanished from my sight. I woke up.
As far as I can remember, I had never heard these words before, and they puzzled me. I rose from my bed and wrote them down. "To leave is to love."
Many thoughts came into my mind and heart. The man knocking on my door—the door of my heart—was the Lord himself, or at least someone close to him.
I pondered the meaning of the words, "to leave is to love." I began to think of the many times Christ left the place in which he was in order to follow the will of his Father.
I considered how he left his throne in heaven to be born among us on earth. How at the appointed hour, he left Mary, his beloved Mother, to start on his pilgrimage and mission in life.
How on completing his mission, he left us—dying on the cross. How after his Resurrection, he left us again—ascending into heaven, but leaving us the promise that he would send us the Advocate, the Holy Spirit.
Yes, surely, over and over in the life of Christ it can be seen that "to leave is to love."
As we try to strip ourselves of the things that are not of God, we see again that "to leave is to love." St. Francis of Assisi, who left his possessions, family, friends and even the very clothing he was wearing in order to love more fully, is a special example.
Let us pray that this stripping continues for each of us until that final stripping before the grave which will enable us to be united with Love eternally.
"To leave is to love."
—Excerpted and adapted from a letter to the staff of MH, February 8, 1982
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