How Loving Are We Really?
GREETINGS: Do you remember a television program called “To Tell the Truth”? Three individuals would claim to be the same person and the panel had to guess who was lying and who was telling the truth. The liars would try their best to confuse with wild stories. It wasn’t always easy to guess who was who…. and it was very entertaining.
Today the devil tries the same thing with God. The devil makes us think of God as punishing, as vengeful, as angry. We even say things like “God will get you for that”, or “God is punishing me”, or “God will strike them down for that!”
I think most of us have a very twisted idea of God as an old man in Heaven, Who, when He bothers to think of us, is ready to punish. condemn us and maybe even throw a lightening bolt at us!
But let’s look at the Bible. The Gospel says Jesus is the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life for His sheep. In another place the Bible tells us that Jesus came not to condemn the world, but to save it. In another place the Bible reminds us that God does not will the death of a sinner, but that the sinner might be saved! The most impressive statement in the Bible defines God in three words: “God is love.” Mind you not that He simply loves… but that He IS love!”
Throughout history Jesus has revealed Himself as the God of love… To St. Margaret Mary, He showed His most Sacred Heart pierced with thorns and engulfed in flames… He told her “Behold my heart which burns for the love of all humanity!” To St. Faustina Kowalska He asked that she remind the world that He is the God of Mercy.
So, we have a choice, we can follow the devil’s perverse description of God, or we can follow the Bible, and the Church Jesus established, and see the true description: God is LOVE!
All that is so beautiful, calming, peaceful, easy, and sweet… but….. there is another part of all this that too many people overlook. You and I are expected to totally mirror, imitate and practice that SAME love totally, COMPLETELY and ALWAYS! That sounds easy and nice until we begin to think: True love is work! True love costs! True love is totally unselfish and giving! True love asks a great deal!
Most people would say that we here in America are a fairly loving people. We are unusually generous to charities, we support the underdog, we are tolerant and inclusive. I suppose all that is true…. For the most part…. but….our charities usually only get what is left over, what is extra, and what doesn’t cost us any sacrifice. We support the underdog as long as they support our ideas, our way, our politics, and we are tolerant and inclusive of anything and everything…. even sin and sinful behavior.
The bottom line is that you and I and everyone has to begin to really study and understand just what love truly is, and know that more often than not, true love costs! True love demands sacrifices! True love cannot be selfish in any way, at any time, for any reason!
The poet, Hanna More tells us that, “Love never reasons but profusely gives……gives like a thoughtless prodigal, it’s all, and trembles then, lest it has done too little.”
Sometimes love costs everything…. For example…. when Jesus accepted the cross. The sad thing is that we in the United States are experiencing a period where that kind of love is not only NOT acceptable but even frowned upon. To give one’s life for love sounds so noble, so pure, so unselfish, so holy…..but who has the courage today to accept and practice such love? The greatest and purest love is when one sacrifices his own life for the sake of others. How many today would unselfishly give up money, a lifestyle, health, pleasure, or independence and freedom and more…..for love? The difficult thing for many people today to understand about TRUE LOVE is that it often finds it necessary to totally sacrifice our dreams for the sake of others.
To “Tell the Truth,” we only have to look at the angry protests in favor of abortion to see…. not too many can, or do, espouse even the idea, of total and unselfish love. The rage and violence to protect a violent, primitive, uncivilized, decadent and self-centered life style is amazing and shocking. To willingly eliminate and violently kill another life so that I might live as I want to live is far from loving, far from generous, and far from human or civilized….. and….. it is far from God. Mother Teresa warned us that “any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. strongly agrees and asks, “How can the ‘Dream’ survive if we murder the children? Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother. The mother decides his or her fate.”
Many of us are here today, only because our Mothers would not or could not have an abortion! We have to value and appreciate our Mothers who, in their love for us, sacrifice their “something” for us. Because maybe that “something” was their every thing. If we have true love, how can we today do less?
GOD BLESS YOU, FR. CHARLES