Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rooted In Love. By: C.C.

“If we see ourselves as good practicing Catholics then we must acknowledge that the core of our faith is tolerance and mercy…the core of our faith is treating difficult people with kindness—that’s at the very centre of our faith. Rosaries are wonderful, prayers to the Saints are wonderful..but where the rubber hits the road is LOVE.” (Dr. Ray Guarendi)

     God is love, the Cross is love, and we are all called to love. These statements are often shared in homilies, blogs, prayer groups, conversations, and last but definitely not least through Scripture. Yes, these words often flow freely from our mouths without much thought. However, we are called to act out of this knowledge of our faith with love.
    One can begin by asking the question--what is love?Prior to fully understanding my faith and the way of our Lord..I remained very ignorant to what love meant and the expectations I had within myself for judging what love was and what it was not. It is only after I turned to Scripture and to my Catholic faith where I was met a very different idea and understanding of love. I began to imagine true love far differently than what I had previously understood it to be. I realized the undeniable and often forgotten truth that love is sacrifice. I am not here reflecting on ideas of  solely "romantic love"-- I am referring to the way that we are called to love in the highest sense. Striving to attain here on earth a taste of the greatest romance of all time- God's love for each one of us. Our first two commandments speak of this, and Jesus reminds us of their importance again in the Gospel of Matthew..“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself."All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
   In taking the time to reflect upon my own life and through revisiting many scenarios I came to the point of seeing God's love through it all. I often lacked the understanding and clarity to acknowledge Him at work--unable to grasp the immensity of His love for me. It is when we begin to reflect upon His unconditional love for us, His unchanging tolerance and mercy, that we will better understand the way God wills us to deal with one another. By reflecting upon the way God is tirelessly there for us despite our faults allows us to be more patient with those around us.
   So often we may be faced with circumstances where we are challenged and led by emotions which aim us away from being the person God calls us to be.  As we deal with "difficult people" It is only through constantly looking towards our Lord where we will find strength and ability to respond accordingly as His followers. It is by doing this that one may be humbled. Rather than lashing out at another--the opportunity for self reflection and acceptance is born.
   When we love God above all things we start to see ourselves as we truly are and begin to see the ways that we too can be just as "difficult" as those we judge around us. In turning to our Lord with complete surrender and humility we see how unworthy we are of His love and yet, how lovingly He responds by calling us to holiness. In this pursuit of leading holy lives we are met with many challenges that are both interior and exterior. As we walk along this spiritual journey we are continuously faced with the challenges of our own personal emotions, insecurities, judgements, and battles of the heart which we must offer up to God. We see how that when our Lord looks to us He does so with a great sense of tolerance and mercy. It is then, when we are faced with exterior challenges and the "daunting" task of having to accept another that we can begin to do so by imitating this same notion of tolerance and mercy.
      May we each take the opportunity to pause and reflect with a spirit of love when we are faced with "difficult" people. May we come to recognize our own behaviors which can also be troubling for others before being quick to react. Let us be drawn each day to the core message of our faith in order to always share kindness with one another. May we extend tolerance and mercy beyond our households and loved ones. Lord give us the patience and commitment of faith to treat all of our brothers and sisters in Christ with love. Amen (C.C.)




1 comment:

  1. A wonderful message, Celeste. It takes great maturity to separate the wheat from the chaff, the gold from the slag, so to speak, in another person. Yet, you hit the nail on the head when you say that it is in looking to see how we are loved by Christ, in spite of our faults, that we are able to love another as He loves us.
    That takes humility and self acceptance.
    Bless you sister.