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EBS98: The Miracle Catalyst of Love

Eric Butterworth Speaks: Essays on Abundant Living #98

Delivered by Eric Butterworth on December 5, 1975

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There is a miracle of chemistry in which a substance called a catalyst is employed to accelerate an action or a reaction causing changes to take place in an astounding way before the very eyes of the observer. A plant catalyst, for instance, can cause an unbelievable growth rate in plants. Could such a transformation take place in the human equation, in the affairs of men?

We should believe in this, for life is a wholeness, a unity; that which is done in one area of life can also be done in all other areas with an understanding of the fundamentals involved. Would it not be wonderful to discover a miracle catalyst that could stir minds and hearts to the instantaneous overcoming of hatred or bitterness or fear or grief or self-pity? Well, there is such a catalyst, the catalyst of love, the miracle catalyst of love. Love will accelerate positive reactions in human experience beyond anything achieved in chemistry. In nothing is there more latent power; nothing can more readily touch off a chain reaction of continuing influence.

Some years ago there was published a story which has changed the thinking of many. Impressive, it was fiction, but there is often much truth in fiction. Called One Hour To War, in it the United Nations faces a great crisis. A conflict among nations has eluded negotiations and the world is just minutes away from an outbreak of nuclear war. One elderly member invited colleagues in the Security Council to the meditation room in the United Nations building. Out of respect for him they came, tight-lipped and determined not to swerve from their positions. At his suggestion they took places around the block of stone that forms the center of worship there, with neither inscription nor ornamentation on it, save a thin shaft of light falling on it.

He began, “Gentlemen, the entire world knows that time is running out, and that it is no longer a question of which of you is right. There is obviously some right on both sides, and that is why it is so hard to reach a compromise, a solution. You have all insisted that you have tried everything, but have you tried loving each other?” This question hung in the air, simple, yet enormous. He went on, “It is hard, and realization comes late for governments as well as for individuals, but we must turn this ideal into a reality.” As silence literally sang into the room, he said, “Please, each of you, do me the courtesy of resting his hand on this stone.” As they slowly did this, he related, “Originally, an altar was a place of sacrifice. Is there any reason why it should not serve today for the sacrifice of self-justification, of arrogance, of pride, of greed, in order that love may flow through us all? Which of you will be the first to draw his hand away?” While the future of the world hung in the balance, no one in the room moved. Finally, the man said, “I know you have much to do now, gentlemen. Thank you for coming here.” At that moment the miracle catalyst of love did its work, the crisis passed, and in the General Assembly the delegate of one of the nations that had seemed to be and the brink of war rose and spoke on the future of his country and the whole world. Well, this story certainly could be true, such is the power of love.

We have not even scratched the surface of the possibilities of love in human relationships. There are no barriers to achievement. v-Lth love, and we can never comprehend life without it. Love may be thought of as man’s Aladdin lamp; rub it, and you conjure up an inner power that is all-powerful. Discount or reject it, and you remain insecure in a hostile world. In Paul’s classic essay on love, he says in effect that with love you are everything and without love you are nothing. Until man is awakened in spiritual maturity, he walks in darkness and has a pervasive sense of loneliness. Man’s most crying need is to overcome his separateness, to leave the prison of aloneness. It was to meet this very need that Jesus taught the importance of love.

Mature love is the power which breaks through the walls that separate men from their fellow men, which unites men with God and with those around them. Oh, how we have misunderstood Jesus’ teaching of love! We have thought of it totally on the human level, and considered it as something one could do very little about—either it happened or it didn’t. One could fall in love as if by accident, and occasionally, unpredictably, one could find a friend to love. We have thought of love as approving one who is loveable, but only as long as he remains that way. John, the only biblical writer who dares define God, says, “And we know and have believed the love which God hath in us. God is love, and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him.” To the extent that we let this divine activity hold sway in us, we become a portion of the divine heart of God.

Because love is divine law, it cannot be violated without penalty of violation; it is love or else. To withold love, regardless of the reason, is to reject the vital power to be healthy and happy and successful. Man is so created that he cannot withold love and remain healthy or happy or fulfilled. He may feel justified in hating or resisting; he may feel that there are those he simply cannot bring himself to love, but in every case this leads to impoverishment. To withold love is to withold the very thing we need more at that time than at any other, for the absence of love separates us from our resource and creates a gulf.between those around us.

Love, you see, knows no limitations. We have limited our love to a few people, fearing we shall love the few less if we increase their number of recipients, but in the process we have lost the true spark, for love cannot be contained and remain love. We cannot love this one and hate that one; we must love all, universally. Love is not a personal feeling or an emotion. It is neither sense nor sex; it merely uses these areas as a conduit through which it expresses in the process of transcendental oneness. Love is divine law which flows impersonally, like electricity, through all who allow themselves to be open and nonresistant channels. Love is a magic catalyst that lifts up and transforms and fulfills all in whom it expresses, and all to whom it is directed.

The miracle catalyst of love will bring into focus all the factors that can make good relationships between and among people, because love perceives the individual, not as he is, but as he can be. When you treat a person with love, you act as if he already were what you believe he can be, and this is the greatest power to influence others. I love the thought of the German poet and philosopher, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who said, “If we take people as they are,we make them worse. If we treat them as if they were what they should be, we make them what they can be. ‘ All of us need to get into the consciousness of love, to practice love, as it were.

John wrote, “We love because He first loved us.” God loves in us; our need is not to love people but to understand them, to listen to them, and to let this love process flow forth. It is not our love; you cannot make yourself love anybody, but let this love flow forth. Here is an affirmation: “I am a channel for the expression of the infinite love of God. I cannot love anyone, but I can let God love him through me.” This is another way of stating that you love him transcendentally, as a part of the creative process. It is always true that I am in love with you no matter who you are. We are all in love because we are in God, and God is in us, and we are all in this together. I am in love with you, and you are in love with me, and we are in love with all persons everywhere. Ganhdi of India once said, “We must widen the circle of our love until it embraces the whole village, and the village in turn must take into its fold the district, and the district the province, and so on until the scope of our love becomes conterminous with the world.”

This is the miracle catalyst of love. It can solve problems; it can heal heartaches; it can dissolve conflicts; it can establish peace. Love can always find a way.

© 1975, by Eric Butterworth

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