Monday, January 4, 2010

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton 1 4 09

Elizabeth Seton was a model of genuine love -- for her dying husband, her children and the young people of the USA. We cannot forget the religious community (Sisters of Charity) she founded not too far from "Capitol Hill."

Today we hear the word "love" used often but in so many different way, Were I the word "love," how quickly and easily I would surrender to words like "prefer," "like," "enjoy" and other similar words that express what is not genuine love.

So, can we not ask ourselves this question: What does the word "love" mean to me? How can I make it real in my life? Test your answers against St. Paul's description in I Corinthians 13: 4-13. There you will find it mean so much more than "I love bourbon Manhattans." It has deeper meaning than "I love a good salad." Likewise it has greater significance that I love going to a good restaurant."

In our contemporary experience we have outstanding models, living models of what "love" means. St. Elizabeth Seton, St. Theresa of Calcutta, St. Maximillian Kolbe and probably many others whose way of living is a true example of what the word "love" means. Surely there are some of your friends who do their very best to make love a reality in the world.

How do I evaluate "love" in my life? Do I realize that I may have some rough edges? So often the victim of your sharpness is a person who needs true love, understanding and compassion. As St. Paul reminds us" "Love never fails." It is easy to criticize, to put down. It is so challenging to be alert and sacrificing. True love after all is said and done comes at a cost. The stained glass above is a reminder of what love can cost. If it did not come at such a price, most likely we would not talk about it.

A final question to ask yourself: "Do I know how to love another person -- not amorous love -- but the genuine love we have encountered in the lives of many saints and sinners as well?