A man named Jonathan is in distress because he has found himself in love with a woman. Jonathan is studying to become a priest and has taken the vow of chastity. He is lost and goes to his spiritual advisor for advice that will help him see the answers he needs to help him with his dilemma.
Jonathan: I understand, but I just love her so much. It?s the kind of love that has another force present. I watched the sunrise with her yesterday, and when we kissed something inside of me exploded, and it wasn?t lust. It was love. A higher love which I have never felt before.
Jonathan: That I am unsure of.
Advisor: People are often unsure of what they will find with God. I have a bookhere. I would like to read something from it. The book is Light From Light. I will be reading from The Perfection Of Man, number 254. It states ?Therefore the man who desires to love the Lord or already loves him should always question his spirit and examine his conscience as the object and the motive of his basic desire; ask, too, what else the spirit wills or hates and what inordinate desires the flesh entertains the opposition to it.? I agree that you can find this love you are talking of in others that surround us, but you have made a commitment to the church and their laws. I want you to go off to a quiet place and separate yourself from this woman, and think about these words I have just read to you. Then come back to me in a two months.
When the advisor asks him this question, Jonathan?s mind starts thinking. He was asked why he loves this girl. Is it because of lust? He needs to think about this for some time because love can often be diguised by lust. He needs to ask himself if he loves this girl the way he loves God. If he thinks about this and finds that the love he feels for God and this girl are actually the same, then he has, in fact, found God in this girl.
(Two months passed and Jonathan came back to the advisor.)
Jonathan: I have come to the conclusion that the love I have found between this woman and I was given to me by God.
Advisor: Do you feel that by being a man of the cloth that you are limited in your ability to love. There is an old saying from The Desert Father?s number 112, ?An old man said, ?This generation is concerned not with today but with tomorrow.?
Johnathan: I wonder what would happen if in the future I said I didn?t want to be a priest because I was in love with a woman. I feel as though I might be missing out on some things.
Jonathan: Are you telling me I should leave the church?
Advisor: I?m telling you that you should follow your heart, son.
Jonathan: Thank you. I will follow it where ever it leads me.
It is sometimes more important to just follow your heart before you start to think of God. It is not understood by everyone that your heart was given to you by God. Once this is understood by Jonathan, he will find himself even closer to God. It is right for Jonathan to leave the church. That?s where his heart was leading him. Who knows, leaving the church could actually bring him to another level with God. Aelred would say that you can see God in the eyes of others.