Love hopes all things, bears all things, endures all things, but is blind to nothing.
True love sees the faults and failings of the beloved, yet bears them out of a love that pierces through daily annoyances, faults, and failings to the heart. Love sees the innate goodness in the beloved and witnesses the greatness of who the beloved was made to be, even when she loses sight of it herself.
Love inspires us to all forms of heroic deeds. Sacrifice draws all its life from love. We will gladly give of ourselves for another in proportion to the love we have for her. The mother will sacrifice health and career for her child. The lover will sacrifice his life as he knows it just to be with his beloved. The child will give up lesser love to love what his father loves just because his father loves it.
As hard as it can be to give of yourself in love, accepting love can be just as hard. To accept love calls for the deep vulnerability of recognizing your own incompleteness, your need for love and your need to rely on the no-doubt imperfect love of another. To accept love is to accept the two-edged truth that you are a flawed, weak, imperfect human being, but one who remains loveable.
Let yourself be loved. Perhaps human love has failed you in the past. Imperfect human love might have wounded when it should have healed. Human love may be limited by responsibilities and duties, departure and death, all getting in the way of love.
True, the love of another human being cannot fulfill the deepest longing of our hearts. We desire to love and be loved with a love that never ends because we were made for a higher love. But human love, imperfect as it is, is an imperfect sign of a perfect love.
So let yourself be loved more than this. Give yourself not merely to weak human love, but to the Divine Love. This Love never fails, it never ceases. Love himself holds our goodness in being and Love’s acts, though sometimes painful as a surgeon’s steel, heal us as they wound. He is bound by nothing; his Love, limited by nothing. By being loved by God, we learn to love perfectly and infinitely, for we learn to love all things as God loves them, as a child learns to love what his father loves.
Love endures all things, and indeed has endured all things, suffering even death on a Cross. Though we are utterly unworthy to receive such incredible love, yet such is his Love. Because of his great love for you, you are so very good and so very lovable.
Finally, Love longs for union with the beloved. Through the sacrament of Baptism, God has given us a way to be perfectly united to him. In Baptism, the Holy Trinity comes to dwell in our hearts, and as long as we remain in a state of grace and return to a state of grace through the sacrament of Confession whenever we fall, that indwelling is the beginning of heavenly life, united to God in Love. For God so loves that he deigns to set up his abode in the deepest recesses of our hearts.
In the light of this incomprehensible love, let us learn to let Love lead and welcome his Love with open hearts, for in following his steps, we shall be drawn joyfully into the way of peace.
Her heart aches to hear all his tender cries
She gives her all to dry his weary eyes;
His fear, his pain, his tears, and eyelids red,
Love delights to bear these in his stead.
And loves he too her precious heart so dear,
And as their self-same love casts out all fear,
In love’s concordant dance, all steps he leads:
To loving ministrations she accedes.
This article was written by Br. Joseph Graziano, O.P.