Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of Canada - Franciscains du Canada
Ordo Fratrum Minorum
On Valentine’s Day I received a card from some whom I love and respect very much. In the card there was a reflection which stated, “One could/should have every day of the year full of Love. In 2020 we get one extra day. As people of God, we should rejoice and be glad. We are all challenged to every day life. To be there for others who struggle – in joy or sorrow. God loves us unconditionally; God accepts us and tries each day to mould us into the commandants of love. It’s not easy, but love everyone, each day and everything around us.”
This reflection has been flowing through my thoughts over the last week. It has haunted me when I have not loved well the others in my life, my brothers with whom I live or even myself. It has encouraged me to reflect on my actions and words and thoughts; how is love penetrating my everyday? It has caused me to pause and remember that in all the busy, all the doing, all the demands and tasks that God’s love is present and this love is be my pattern of living.
We read in the first letter of John: “Perfect love casts out fear” and In the Islam tradition a quote by Fazil reads “Love is the hidden way into the sanctuary of God.” It is tough to admit that much of our fear has to do with love. We fear we are not loved enough, that no one can love us, that we are not worthy of love by another, a community or God. It is foolishness really and still we let it be what guides us. Perfect love we will never know until we are embraced in heaven, but our actions each day make known a taste of this perfect love. The way we “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5.38-48) is the hidden way. The sanctuary of God resides in each one of us. We are vessels of love, called to perfect that love more each day. We are vessels of love, aware that others are hurting and so are we but that does not mean that love is not present. We are vessels of love; with each breath we breathe in God and breath out fear, for our God is love present always.
God’s acceptance is unconditional because we are made in the image and likeness of love. How amazing is that? Being moulded and shaped into the commandment of love is to love our neighbours and love God. May we imprint into our hearts, our living, our breathing that we are holy, for God is holy (Leviticus 19.1-2). This is the truth of love, that holiness is woven into all we are: today – good or bad, in this Leap Year with a bonus day and always whether the sun shines or not.
Here we are one week away from that extra day in 2020.
What are you going to do about it?
Here we are days way from Lent – “The Season of Love”.
How are you going to add more love to the world with an extra day to do it?
How are you going to rejoice and be glad that God’s love is everlasting?
Maybe Leap Year can remind us that we experience ‘bonus’ days of love all the time, not just on February 29 and not just when all is perfect or right or good. As another valentine reminded me, “My heart is bigger than my hat!” Does that not give an increasing image of the God of love? I think so and I rejoice and am glad because of it!
Blessings on the week ahead!
Happy Leap Year!
Let love be our way, our truth, our life – for it is our very breath.