Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Love is Our Mission, Love is Our Name

by Sister Lisa Laguna, D.C.

"You tell us that to love God and neighbor is not something abstract, but profoundly concrete: It means seeing in every person the face of the Lord to be served, to serve him concretely. And you are, dear brothers and sisters, the face of Jesus." –Pope Francis Homily, May 21, 2013

"Let us love God, but let it be at the expense of our arms and in the sweat of our brow." –St. Vincent de Paul, V11, L25

"...A deep love for God in this life which will be shown by practicing His goodness, gentleness and charity toward my neighbor." –St. Louise de Marillac, L-A7

It's easy for us to think of "charity" as good works. People work with charities to help others, we have charitable giving, and so on. From a biblical sense and in the minds and hearts of our founders, charity is used in its original way: love—generous love—love of God lived out in us, bearing fruit for others, especially those who are poor. Is this the mission Pope Francis is talking about?

Jesus says it's easy to love those who love us back. He invites us to love our enemies. That's love. That's charity (Luke 6:32–35). "No greater love has a person than to lay down one's life for a friend" (John 15:13). No greater love! That's charity: Love lived out beyond the boundaries of our comfort zones, beyond the frontiers that separate us, beyond those who love us back, beyond those who even recognize our love or sacrifice. Is this kind of love possible? We absolutely believe it is!

This is the charge for all Christians. However, it is our life and our name as Daughters of Charity.

"Therefore, you must live in conformity with the name you bear, since it's God who has given this name to the Company... Notice it was the people who, seeing what you were doing and the service of our first Sisters rendered to the poor, have given you this name... Therefore, preserve it carefully; strive always to have the robe of charity, of which the signs are love of God, love of our neighbor, and love of our Sisters, for fear that God may erase your names from the book of life." –St. Vincent de Paul, VX, C93

Love is our mission. Love is our name.

Today, Pope Francis is challenging us to love in that same way. Love beyond! The theme of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia is "Love is Our Mission"—not a feeling, not only words, but our mission—what we are sent out to do and be, what we do and who we are! When we do love, we are living out the great virtue of charity. Let us keep each other in prayer. Let us pray that we can live out this call to love, to live in charity, to serve Christ in our brothers and sisters. Let us do this in generous love.

We hope to see you in Philly!

No comments:

Post a Comment