The madness of love Is a blessed fate; And if we understood this We would seek no other: It brings into unity
What was divided, And this is the truth: Bitterness it makes sweet, It makes the stranger a neighbor, And what was lowly it raises on high.
Let’s make a resolution to be gentle with one another, to speak words that build one another’s confidence and trust, to see only what is godly in one another, and to guard our thoughts against accusations that can tear the bleeding body of Jesus Christ. We are restorers of life, first within our own hearts, then this year we each decrease, and that the presence of the humble and majestic Christ grows in each of us through the power of the sanctifying Holy Spirit.
Let us pray for one another and keep the door of our hearts open to receive more and more life. Let no one be afraid, for God is melting, through the power of the Incarnation, the fear that is in all of us.
Nothing can overcome you. Let God dwell in you, move in you. Let him consume you. He alone is trustworthy. He is the only one who will never hurt or disappoint you. Embrace every minute of every day with childlike trust, and pray for faith and more faith.
Life is short. Our most important focus from now until we see God face to face is to be consumed by love in order to love. All things in the world fade, but love is eternal.
~ A Meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty
Night after night these sunsets spread their thrill,
confound me in my dreaming for an hour. I lift my mind in wonder to the power of color glorified by light until I know the miracle each western hill sees when the scattered clouds come into flower— petals of shining roses and a shower of flushed gold falls, and my wild heart is still.
Now for a time the soul is visible, luminous wings lift out on either side and I am faint who house this beautiful gold bird; my clouds of thought are glorified. Color and light possess me. I am one with stars and moonlight and the dying sun.
~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D.
Many people aren’t particularly interested in God. But there is probably no one who is not interested in love. This interest may be distorted—love can be sought where it can’t be found. Still, it is love which, more than anything, occupies us in all that we do and are.
Literature, art, theatre, movies—everything focuses on love, and it can’t be any other way. The human being has an innate longing for love; to be human is to long for love.
God is love. Where love is found, there is God. It is God who stirs this human hunger, and it is God alone who ultimately can satisfy it.
Even where God is not known, love between human beings can be deep, true, faithful. In this case, it is divine and has its origin in God. Still, the human heart can never find complete rest until it has come to know the source of love.
The source is inexhaustible. In God there is always more love to be had. And it is precisely God’s infinity that can satisfy our hunger for love. No matter how great and beautiful human love may be, it only attains its true value if we have found the origin of love.
God will not close our hearts to human love, friendship, tenderness, intimacy. But he will open your heart to the love that will never be extinguished or die, and that love exists in him.
As we hear the story of the Fall in Genesis 2:7-9, 3:1-7, the same question that God asked Adam confronts us: ‘Where are you?”
In a Hasidic story, an atheist persistently tried to catch the village rabbi in theological snares but always failed. One day the atheist asked, “Rabbi, is it true that God knows everything?” “Yes, my son,” said the rabbi, “God knows everything.” “Rabbi,” the atheist continued,” is it also true that after The Fall, God asked Adam, ‘Adam where are you?’ “Yes, my son, that is also true,” the rabbi replied. The atheist smiled, thinking that he had finally caught the rabbi in a contradiction. “But rabbi,” said the atheist, “If God knows everything, then why did God have to ask Adam where he was?” “My son,” said the rabbi,” ‘Adam, where are you?’ is not a question for information but for reflection.”
“Where am I?”, a perennial question of life, encompasses many other questions. What am I doing with my life? Does it have any purpose or lasting significance? What does it all mean? These questions and those like them distill into one haunting question: When I come to die will it make any difference that I have ever lived? This question takes on a more somber hue the older we become. And if we ask ourselves what we must do for our life to have permanent significance, the answer is so simple that it evades us. We must live the one, unique life that God has entrusted to us.
There is another Hasidic story about rabbi Zossimus, who tried all of his life to be like Moses, David or one of the prophets. His inability to achieve his goal frustrated and depressed him. One night in a dream, an angel appeared to him and said, “At the last judgement, God will not ask you why you were not Moses or David but rather, why you were not Zossimus.” God wanted Zossimus to do one thing—the same thing that he had asked Adam or Eve to do—tend the garden that was given to them and not to be deceived by unreality.
“And you shall be like gods!” Tending the garden that God has entrusted to us, no matter how humble, is no mean and insignificant enterprise, for it affords numerous opportunities to love.
Each of us finds ourselves situated at a juncture of time, space, and circumstance unique to us alone; we are entrusted with opportunities to love to which no one else has been assigned. An old saying notes that there are many occupations in the Body of Christ but only one vocation—the vocation to love. Love is our true work no matter what our task; it is the only thing that gives our life ultimate and lasting significance. Regarding love, “Where are you?”
~ By Marc Foley, O.C.D.
Wishing you all a very reflective and blessed season of Lent!
Love, I think, is an arrow shot by the will, and, freed from every pull of earth, flying straight at God with full force, it infallibly strikes His Majesty. Once it has pierced the Heart of God, absolute Love, it rebounds with immense graces…
O secrets of God! We must silence our understanding admitting that, never of itself can it fathom the greatness of God. Let us remember here Our Lady the Virgin, how she, in her great wisdom, surrendered in this way, and to her question to the angel, ‘How shall this be done?’ , received the answer: ‘The Holy Ghost will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.’
~ Saint Teresa of Avila, ‘Conceptions of the Love of God’
God is in a hurry! The collapse of Western civilization is all around us. We are called to stand still in the midst of chaos, violence, and disorder, as we build a house of love for others in our hearts. The walls inside our hearts are breaking down. The restoration is speeding up within us.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
Love is the only reality. We have dedicated and consecrated ourselves to gospel love, not human love. This is what our lives are meant to incarnate. Our primary charism is to love God passionately, and to love and accept ourselves according to our God-given uniqueness. Then we can love one another. Never has it been more important that others touch the reality of God living in, with, and through each of us.
This begins at Mass.
~ Meditations for spiritual pilgrims by Jean Fox, Madonna House Apostolate