We are blessed in our parish to have a scripture scholar as our pastor. Every day I leave Mass having learned something more about the Lord and his word and the saints, and am more prepared to fight the “good fight of faith”.
Yesterday he mentioned a quote from Dorothy Day. You may know of this inspiring, but complicated person. She was a “no nonsense lady…. a tough cookie”. Dorothy Day, Servant of God, is now in the first stage of the canonization process. Pope Benedict XVI used Day’s conversion story as an example of how to “journey towards faith… in a secularized environment.”(General Audience, 2-13-13)
Anyway the reference to Day had to do with love. She was quoted saying, “I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.” Yikes, that woke me up…. cough, cough, sputter, sputter….. “Gee, I really love Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II, I really love my grandmother….. but I have to be honest, Chuck from the mailroom is a selfish, obnoxious loser….and that politician is …… and the guy who cut me off on the NJ Turnpike is …… ” Hmmmmm, most of us can be kind to the lovable person… but it’s tougher when the person is “unlovable”.
“If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also.” (1John 4:20-21) Wow, it seems like God agrees with Dorothy Day, or more correctly, Dorothy agrees with God.
So, let’s do a little personal inventory. If we really only “love God as much as we love the person we love the least”, are we in trouble? No, not necessarily. If we ask for the grace to love more completely and more universally, we can change how we love; we can love more purely and more like God loves.
Remember the new title of the BLOG is “There’s Always More”. Like peeling the proverbial ONION, we can always go deeper; we can always love more fully. And as we do, we will be happier and will have a bigger smile on our face and we will be closer to the Lord. And that is very good news.