Sunday, March 2, 2014

Being Pursued…By The “Mad Lover”



…O fiery abyss of charity!
…O mad lover!
And you have need of your creature?
It seems so to me, for you act as if you could not live without her,
in spite of the fact that you are Life itself,
and everything has life from you and nothing can have life without you.

Why then are you so mad?
Because you have fallen in love with what you have made!
You are pleased and delighted over her within yourself,
as if you were drunk with desire for her salvation.
She runs away from you and you go looking for her.
She strays and you draw closer to her.
You clothed yourself in our humanity,
and nearer than that you could not have come.

(Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, translated by Sr. Suzanne Noffke, O.P.)

God the Father, the Eternal Truth, revealed to St. Catherine of Siena in The Dialogue that “…you are she who is not, and I AM he who is.”  This means that God is the source of our very existence.  St. Luke also tells us pretty much the same thing when he says that "...it is in him that we live and move and have our being…" (Acts. 17:28)  Would we even last for a fraction of a millisecond if God forgets about us?  Obviously not! 

This thought, along with this Sunday’s Mass Readings provide us with a beautiful meditation as we prepare to enter into the grace-filled season of Lent.  In a few days, we will hear the priest prays as he places ashes on our forehead: “Remember, man, you are dust and to dust you will return.”  How much weight can a speck of dust weigh on a scale, and how much value does it have?  Not much!  Yet, today we hear God’s reassurance that his loving care will always be present to us more than a mother’s tender love for the infant of her womb.

How can we be certain of God’s providential care for us?  Look at the world around us...such as the birds in the sky, Jesus says, they do not sow or reap or store up anything, yet your Father in heaven feeds and sustains them.  Look again at the grass in the field that withers and the wild flowers that fade away as quickly as they are bloomed, yet they are adorned with the most elegant and magnificent apparel that not even the wisest and richest King Solomon could compare with them.  And these are all non-rational creatures that could not come close to the dignity of the children of the Almighty God!  Nonetheless, God provides for them in an exceptional way, even to the smallest details.  Should we have any reason not to trust the One in whose image and likeness we were created?

For those of us who are weighed down by the burdens of life that forces us to cry out: “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me!”... we need to make a U-turn back to the Living God who from the beginning of time has loved us into existence, and who continues to sustain us till this day.  Should we then, just sit around and do nothing?  Obviously not!  It just means that we should not make worries and anxieties the center of our being and spend all of our time and energy on getting rich to provide for a comfortable future, thus forget that our main duty and happiness in life is to seek God, his kingdom and his righteousness. 

What does this mean?  Listen to St. Paul…for you, servants of God, shun the desire to be rich; aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.  (1 Tim. 6:11)

Why?  Because…we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world…those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.  (1 Tim. 6:7,9)

What about the people whom God has given more than their share of the daily bread?  They should not be haughty, nor set their hopes on uncertain riches but on God…they are to do good, to be rich in good deeds, liberal and generous, thus laying up for themselves a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life which is life indeed. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

In his Lenten message for this year, Pope Francis teaches us that God’s infinite mercy and love for us is more clearly manifested in Christ who took flesh and bore our weaknesses and sins for our freedom, true salvation and true happiness.  May we show the same love to our suffering brothers and sisters who are in need of our financial and spiritual assistance. 

Rest in God alone
Rest in God alone
O My soul...my soul...


Today’s Mass Readings:

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