Once again we are reminded that love is the soul of our Christan life. Not liturgy, not cultic worship. Love is at the core and is the soul of our Christian life.
You may be deprived of liturgy, you may be deprived of cultic worship, and yet, you can still be a Christian, if you are able to love.
A very recent example of what I’ve said at the beginning involves one of the cardinals recently named by the Holy Father – Cardinal Ignatius Gong Pin Mei. He was Bishop of Shanghai. He was not able to say Mass for 30 years. Finally, he was released because he was diabetic and was sent to the States. Now he is a Cardinal.
He was not able to say Mass for 30 years, deprived of any cult, deprived of any liturgy. Yet all those years, he was not deprived of love. His faith was kept burning by the ardor of his love. Now the Church has recognized his sacrifices and made him one of the cardinals of the Church.
Love is the soul, the core of our Christian life. It is very easy to love people from a distance. It is easier if people we love are miles away. It is easier for us to love them if loving involves simply offering Masses for them and including them in the prayers of the faithful.
But, if the person you are asked to love is your own bedmate, whom you have been sleeping with for the last 30, 50 years, it is a different story. When God asks you to be gentle with your seemingly unruly children, then, it is a different story. When God asks you to love the person who always obstructs your promotion in the office, then, it is a different story. When God asks you to love an intrigera or a tsismosa, it is also a different story.
It is easier to love people from a distance. It is easier to love people when they are miles away. But when they are eating with you when they are sleeping with you, when they rub elbows with you it is a different story. However, it is possible, because all things are possible with God.
Ask yourself. “Do you have a soul in your Christian life?” Meaning to say, do you have enough love to give life to your Christian life? If not, then all liturgy, all cultic worship will be in vain.
“Today let us take up the challenge to love. A cardinal, imprisoned for so many years, kept love burning in his heart. There was no anger, no bitterness, no rancor. Perhaps this love eventually seeped through the hardened hearts of his captors and brought about his release.
We, too can be released from the bondage of a cold heart. We, too, can keep the fire of love burning. Not just for those who are convenient to love, but most especially for those nearest us, whom we find so difficult to love.
LOVE IS THE ANSWER
Only Jesus, Always Jesus