The gift of self
How do we love? We love by giving something, sometimes everything, of ourselves to someone else. To love, is to give of yourself to someone, freely and unconditionally, that is without condition or penalty; to give, not because it is correct or noble, but because it is joyful. Our love is revealed by our joyful willingness to give of ourselves to others.
God, who is love, gave Himself to mankind. First, in the gift of His creative power – He created us. He did not create us for any selfish reason, as thought He had some need of us, but He created us as a pure gift that we might have the joy of knowing life, and that we might love Him and be loved by Him in return.
Next, God gave us freedom, free will, what a beautiful gift! God took the chance that we might choose not to love Him in return for His love, that we might even hurt Him and cause Him sorrow… and this we did most terribly!
Finally, God gave us redemption. The gift of His Grace! God repairs our fallen state, after we abuse the beautiful gifts of life and freedom, which He gave us.
God is love, and He keeps on giving even when it costs Him dearly and causes Him sorrow at times. God gave of Himself in our creation, our freedom and our redemption. He gave freely and unconditionally, without condition or penalty, not because it was correct or noble, not because He had need, but because it was joyful for Him to give, and to go on giving.
We have all the gifts of God before us: life, liberty, peace, joy, beauty, grace… and above all love… that love which is God Himself.
Beneath the shadow of a cloud
Have you sorrows, grief, or pain? Are you living beneath the shadow of a cloud? Do not try to hide from this cloud; instead look up and take notice of this cloud. Look deep within its darkness and study its form. If you do this, you may see within its darkness some beauty, or maybe even a silver lining. Then concentrate all your thoughts on to the beauty you see within the cloud and soon the darkness therein will fade and you may be able to glimpse some light.
If this does not take place and you can find no beauty or purpose in the darkness which overshadows you, then you must be patient and wait for God, who knows the correct time and season for all things and has control over every circumstance. During this period, immerse yourself in prayer, learn to trust and grow in faith until God acts. God will support you with His grace, (which is always sufficient ) until the time is right for Him to gently blow the clouds away, allowing you once more to bathe in life’s sunshine.
The greatest act a person can do is love; faith gives our love a new dimension – through faith our love becomes divine! Divine love is self-giving, pure and holy. It reaches out beyond other loves to embrace every living soul. You cannot measure the depths of divine love; no sacrifice can be too great, because the greater the sacrifice the more joy divine love emits. No soul is beyond the attainment of divine love because all are God’s children. Our capacity to love can be measured by our willingness to abandon ourselves to the will of God, because His divine will is always imbued with that divine love. It is the goal of every human heart to attain divine love – that is, complete union with the heart of God.
The Christian Life
The Christian life should be a continual longing for God, an unending desire for union. It should be a progressive search for wisdom and truth, a daily striving for the knowledge of God’s Holy Will. It should be a humble life of obedience, a vocation of service, a joyful sacrifice, a journey of implicit faith, of filial love and undiminishing hope.