Letters from a Pastor to His People- October 25, 2020
Picture the most serious love you have. I'm not thinking about love for the Bears or for White Castle (ok, maybe that's just me), but love for your spouse or for your child or for your parents or siblings. Do we love God that way? We have to. Jesus says so. We are commanded to love.
But how can love be a commandment? You can't be forced to love. No one forced you to love your husband or wife, and if they did, it probably wouldn't have been love.
The way we can be commanded to love is by the part of love that involves the will. For love is not simply a feeling. It is an act of the will. You cannot force feelings. You can, however, force or command your will.
So, though we might not be naturally or organically "feeling" love for God, we can still be loving him. That is by moving our will. One of the ways we move our will is simply expressing the desire to love. Ask Jesus for the desire to love him. Ask Jesus to help move your will to be all for him. When you do that, you are actually proving that you love God! It's the same concept as what St. Josemaría Escrivá said about prayer: "You say that you don't know how to pray? Put yourself in the presence of God, and once you have said, 'Lord, I don't know how to pray!', rest assured that you have begun to do so."
Another way to love God, beyond asking for the desire, is to see him in all things and pray to him regarding everything. God, as you know, is involved in everything. He maintains everything in existence. He causes good, he permits evil. You're having a good day, God is there. You're having a bad day, God is there. You're perfectly healthy and played a good game of golf today, God is there. You have cancer, God is there.
To love God is to see him in everything and go to him in everything. "In every place your faith in God has gone forth," says St. Paul (1 Thessalonians 1:7). So, you played well today, give God thanks. You have cancer, cry to God.
we just treat God as a person to worship on Sunday, or to pray before we need something, then we're not loving God, and we're especially not loving him with all our heart, soul, and mind. Praying to God in all things is also, by the way, how we love ourselves. God is good, which means every aspect of our lives must have some purpose and potentiality for union with God.
To truly love your neighbor is to recognize that fact about your neighbor as well: that God is maintaining that person in existence and is present in all of that person's good and bad. If we can begin to love authentically, then we'll have fulfilled the two greatest commandments and we'll be closer to heaven.
Reminder we have our Monday Evenings of Prayer in church from 6-8pm. We have Eucharistic Adoration throughout, Confessions from 6:30-7:30pm, a Rosary at 6:30pm, and a talk on the spiritual life at 7:30pm, all concluded with Benediction and Compline.
Next Monday, November 2 is the Feast of All Souls. We will read the names of the deceased at the 8:30am Mass.
Yours in Christ,