This question repeats in my mind since hearing it in the confessional on Saturday. "Can you love a little more?"...Beyond the seemingly fluffy sentimentality of such a question is the fundamental aspect of what our faith is essentially all about. By choosing to love in radical measures we surely avoid the occasion of sin and act in favour of service and charity toward those around us.
Jesus came into the world out of love from our Heavenly Father, reflective of His radical love for each of us. He came in such a way that would orient our minds and hearts toward a love greater than what had once been experienced and known. He penetrates the divisiveness of class and belief systems, of sinners and those who think themselves saints. His witness proposes the question, even at times silently, "Can you love a little more?"
In my marriage I am often confronted with the temptation to choose against love and give into the rise of petty annoyance and judgement. Faith reminds me and demands a greater love, a call to live selflessly and pursue virtue.
In every state of life it is by remaining true to this fundamental love taught to us by the witness of our Lord that we can succeed in living out our vocation to the fullest. At the same time, we must be cautious to not redefine this concept of Christian love to a point where we are entirely passive to sin and consequently disobedient to God.
Love is difficult. It is not always understood, nor can it ever be completely defined. Similar to the love of a parent for their child who at times must say "No" even though this may temporarily result in disappointment. Surely if the "No" is born from love and for the wholesome regard of the child then it is just, and here we find an example of tough love that gives rise to a greater love and greater good.
To love a little more is to open our hearts a little bit more to the love of God.This cooperation with divine love allows for grace to permeate and aid us in our living out of service to God daily.
As we approach the feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux we are again confronted with the reminder of the heroic and simple love that our Christian life should teach us. The witness of such a saint who viewed the essence of her vocation as love itself can offer us, through her little way, the grace to love a little more.
I find it rather amusing that I share a birthday with the feast day of such a simple Saint. For I could not be further away from her humble innocence. My past indeed resonates more with a pre converted St. Augustine! Yet, in this irony I meet God's immense grace and His ongoing invitation to all of us wherever we are to love a little more in our little way, and to patiently pursue the path toward eternal life. (CC)