Episode 242

I’m always surprised when proponents of One Way Love fail to apply it in concrete cases. In other words, we can talk a good game — about how Christ is always there, gets there first (!), when we are at our lowest ebb, in our worst place of sin and paralysis — how no sin, no sinner is ever beyond the reach of His “saving embrace” — but when we or someone close to us — someone we really KNOW, in other words — is lying there bleeding to death from a self-inflicted wound, well, then… I just don’t know.

What I am saying is that One Way Love is easy to talk about, but rarely happens in concrete instances. I almost wince now when I hear or read bold expressions concerning One Way Love, because experience has taught me that it’s usually just words. And to tell the truth, the institutional church is, formally, almost never the dispenser of grace to sinners — except maybe some particular category of persons that fits a current “narrative”.

Jacques Demy’s movies display wondrous examples of total conversion, last-minute conversion, sudden but decisive change of heart within everyday people. “Bay of Angels” (1963), with Jeanne Moreau, concludes with the most dramatic of these sudden changes of heart. In that connection, an artist like Demy shows Christians what they themselves supposedly believe.

Ask yourself, is all this (wonderful) talk of “radical grace” — and it really is radical, tho’ no more radical than the entire focus of the New Testament — just words or do you mean it?

The whole core of life, and the Gospel, is summed up in the once famous expression “Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry”. It works in Eric Segal’s novel, it works in the 1969 movie, and it works with your nearest and dearest. It’s actually a whole new world (“Aladdin”, 1992).