Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 23, 2004
Love's rainbow opens hearts, lives
Light One Candle
By MSGR. JIM LISANTE
February is the time of year when it seems appropriate to talk about love.
Clearly, St. Valentine's Day has become associated with people expressing warm affection, even undying devotion. And if it makes folks feel closer and fonder of one another to send cards and flowers or share a box of chocolates, I say, more power to them.
However, the occasion I'm really thinking of is Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.
Love is far more than an emotion: it is a force of heaven. God's love for his people is what propels us from the despair of death to the hope of eternity; from the mortality we contemplate on Ash Wednesday through the ultimate sacrifice of God's Son on Good Friday to his glorious resurrection of Easter morning.
Whatever love we have for ourselves, for others and for God himself exists because God first loved us, not with simple sentiment, but with a miraculous power. I believe he expects our love to reflect his own, with words and actions that express our belief in the transforming potential of love.
So, this Lenten season I have a suggestion for what to give up. Give up apathy and ambivalence. Embrace God's love for your own. Think about ways to put love into practice in all the little and large moments of everyday life. Think about what love really means.
How small and insignificant love seems when put in these terms - until we try to live it. There's nothing easy about pouring out love through patient perseverance. Denying your own desires for the welfare of another and returning good for evil are considered weak by those who don't have the strength to do it.
So, when your thoughts this month turn to hearts, that's fine - as long as you treasure all love for the One heart pierced for love of you.
(For a free copy of the Christopher News Note, Works of Mercy, Gifts of Love, write: The Christophers, 12 East 48 St., New York, NY, 10017; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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