lunes, 22 de agosto de 2016

August 19 Feast of our founder St. John Eudes

“Do not be satisfied with loving God with your human heart for that is too little, it is really nothing at all”
by: Bro. Noel Teron Corcino

Is there such a thing as forever? This has been a trending question in the public domain today, it playfully challenges the reality of everlasting love. Some would attest that such enduring love is true as far as they have experienced it. But when the relationship becomes rough and eventually end up to separation, then the sweet ardor of unconditional and everlasting love becomes a great illusion. The problem, I suppose, is not on loving per se, because we, as human beings, are capable of doing so. The difficulty lies more on our faithfulness to loving someone till the end. Thus to remain in love with same person is where most relationships failed to sustain.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind?” Matthew in our gospel today is inviting the mediocre to love with our heart, soul, and mind. It requires profound desire to cultivate and establish relationship with someone whom we want to have an endless connection. It necessitates one to invest in the sublime energy generated through the union of the heart, soul, and mind thereby resulting to the fruits of true love. If one would say that he/she loves somebody without penetrating into is/her heart, soul, and mind, then such love is only an llusion. What is called everlasting love emanates from the core of the person investing his/her whole being to ascertain a lasting bond with somebody in spite of the imperfections. The Pharisees somehow failed to delve to this aspect of growing in faith.

When God the Father sent his only begotten Son Jesus Christ, it was an act of total giving of himself to us -- his ultimate expression of an enduring and everlasting love for his people. Thus he is inviting us to “listen to him” because it is through his Son that we can fully understand his genuine love that would last forever. There is no other way to discover the love of God but to listen to Jesus with our heart, soul, and mind. This is how we engage ourselves to loving unconditionally. If God will be asked about us, he will surely tell his deeper love for us since he loves us from the onset of our existence. And this would compel us to know him deeper and deeper everyday so that when we will be asked in return, we do not just simply describe him, but tell and share with our daily encounter with him.

According to Saint John Eudes, whose feast we are celebrating today, “Do not be satisfied with loving God with your human heart for that is too little, it is really nothing at all. Love him rather with
all your heart and willingly: Corde magno et animo volenti, with all the love of your great heart, Jesus. When anybody asks if you love God, you can answer: Yes, and I want to love him with all my great heart and give myself to him with that in mind. If you love your neighbor and you want to show him your love, do so in the charity of your great heart.” The profound love of St. John Eudes can be seen clearly in all his writings. His bond with Jesus and Mary is sharpened by his enduring reverence to the “heart” of the Mother and Son. For him, Jesus was conceived first in the heart of the Adorable Mother, thus they only have one heart that perpetually work to fulfill the Will of the Father.

If people of today would ask how much love John Eudes had for God, how could we prove it? I would say, that his love for God is beyond all telling. “His penetrating and poignant words were heard everywhere throughout the towns of Normandy, the big cities of France, Paris, the Royal Court, and villages, carrying an exceptional message of conversion and love of Christ.” The presence of the Eudists Fathers and Seminarians, The Our Lady of the Charity of the Good Shepherds, and The Little Sisters of the Poor here in the Philippines is just part of the huge work that Saint John Eudes had inaugurated. His profound bond with Christ is what he passed on to the ones who govern the religious communities he established. It serves as a priceless legacy and tool to continue loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind through selfless giving in service as good workers of the gospel and refuge for the destitute and abused women.

In John’s first letter to the Apostles, he said, “Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love”. In order for us to experience that gratuitous love of God, we need the grace of openness to become receptive to the message of Jesus, the embodiment of the great love of the Father.

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