I Love You, Denise.
I haven’t written in a long time. Not truly. Not the deep, raw stuff that is my trademark.
For many weeks, I have thought about one phrase. One sentence that should be the ultimate pledge. The healing balm for the world.
I love you.
And yet, how often this phrase leaves one empty. Or worse, it leaves us shaking our heads and saying, “No. I don’t think that is so.”
I just read a book about St. Theresa of Calcutta. Again, the question of love presented itself.
If I can just figure out this phrase, what it really means, I think so much will be clear — or clearer.
It is easier to pinpoint what it is not than what it is. Until today. It is my father’s birthday. He is deceased, but the memory of his love is as clear as ever.
There was so much love in him that there was room for little else.
He loved. He liked being loved, but that was not his primary goal. I was his primary goal.
And everyone who encountered him could say the same thing. I was his primary goal. To show me how much he loved me.
You really do remember how someone made you feel, far more than what they said.
It is the essence of what drives us to see some people canonized. They made us feel…
They exuded Incarnational Love.
So many people have said the words to me in my 53 years. But I am learning to pay far more attention to how they make me feel.
This is the true test of love.
Never demanding its own agenda.
Practicing divine hospitality.
Keeping a guard on the tongue.
Not seeking to control.
Embracing another’s free will rather than orchestrating a manipulation that masquerades as mother, brother, sister, friends, husband.
And you begin to understand Our Lord’s words. Who are my mother and my brothers?
The one who does the will of the Father.
There is no guile in him.
And the question of love and all its characteristics becomes a personal one.
Who and how must I love?
The littlest. The wounded. The forgotten. The ones Mother Theresa would have loved. And how must I love them? I must become an oblation.
Incarnational Love made manifest through me.
He has permitted a wound within me that has turned my heart to the wounded ones. And I am learning to find them in the Wounds of Christ, where scars replace a festering wound. And all is made new.