What is urgent is the evangelization of a world that not only does not know the basic aspects of Christian dogma, but in great part has lost even the memory of the cultural elements of Christianity.

                          Pope St. John Paul II


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I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy.

                          Pope Benedict XVI

 

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Is this the girl, the man, that I should marry?

 

 

Abide in Love

 

Ring of Betrothal

The Right One

 

Sometimes I am asked by a person in a specific relationship/friendship, " Sister is this love?", " Do you think he really loves me?"... or, " Is this girl really for me" ?

It is a cry, a longing for assurance, affirmation and hope that the particular relationship is actually love, the love one has waited for, in a word that, "This is it".

So much that passes for love, in the name of love in our present culture and society is a mockery of real love, that is a love given by God, a love given to fulfill his purpose, whether it be manifested in the covenant of marriage, friendship or the consecrated life.

There is a statement, a response to this question, and questions like it, which is once illuminating and challenging, and it is simply this:

 

"LOVE ABIDES!"

Love abides, love remains. In other words, that which can genuinely be called love remains, endures and abides.

It is a love that is not diminished by storms and turmoil, suffering and trial. It is a love that is always, PRESENT and PRESENCE, it is not apparent one day and absent the next...
love abides.

Love is not effusive today and avoidance tomorrow ... no,  real love abides in all situations and in all circumstances. As St. Paul tells us,  it
"endures all things, believes all things and hopes all things. Love never falls away ... ". 1

I
n the Gospel of St. John, we read, "Abide in me, and I in You", and, "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love!" 2

Love abides, remains within the Beloved; it is a mutual indwelling that is constant ... this is Christ's example, his witness to real, to authentic love: He abides and if we love Him we will abide in Him.

In the same way when we want to ask the question in reference to a specific human love, let us ask ourselves ... "does that love abide?" does it remain with me through thick and thin, through all the vicissitudes of life, has it stood a test of time?

If we can say yes, then it in all probability this is a share in the Divine Life  — and it is real love.

Jesus Christ Himself –
"the image of the invisible God" 3, "Who is Love" 4,  shows us the immeasurable depth of this enduring love – this love for us, in that He remains forever with us, abides amongst us in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar ... He abides! HE IS THERE ! He is here ... in our midst. "I AM ... I am present, for I am love." He is the exemplar of genuine love. Look no where else, for "Greater love hath no man." 5

Jesus Christ abides in his Holy Word, He Abides within his Holy Catholic Church, He has promised that He will never leave us orphans, He and his love , abide.

If we can say of any relationship, he or she does not abide, we must have the courage to face the reality – that, as well meaning each may be ... it is not love.

When another truly wants to abide in your presence, in your life, then rejoice ... for you are loved indeed!


 

A Cloistered Poor Clare Colettine Nun

 

   Printable PDF Version

___________________________________

1 1 Cor. 13.7-8:    " ... ómnia suffert, ómnia credit, ómnia sperat, ómnia sústinet. Cáritas numquam éxcidit ..."
2  St. John 15.19:  "Si præcépta mea servavéritis, manébitis in dilectióne mea, sicut et ego Patris mei præcépta servávi, et máneo in ejus dilectióne"
3
  Col. 1.15:         " ... qui est imágo Dei invisíbilis ..."
4 1 St. John 4.8:   " ... Deus cáritas est."
5 St. John 15.13  "Majórem hac dilectiónem nemo habet ..." *

 

Boston Catholic Journal

 

 



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