Sunday, June 26, 2011
Divine Love vs. Satanic Love
Missa Factus est
Epistle: I Jn. 3:13-18 [God's love vs. the world's "love".]
Gospel: Lk. 14:16-24 [Parable of the Great Banquet.]
Full Latin-English propers here.
Many places will do an External Solemnity of Corpus Christi today. This meditation is on the Mass of the day; the "green" Sunday. I did a meditation on Corpus Christi on Thursday.
At some point in your past, God spoke to you and invited you to follow Him and live your life with Him. It was not some booming voice from the heavens, it was some desire burning inside you pushing you towards things of God. This burning desire was subtle, it didn't make a large display, and wasn't highly tangible, but at some point it became obvious. There was something pushing you to live your life with God. Since then you have either followed that force and desired what it pushed you towards or rejected all those things as less interesting than other things around you. That something was a grace from God. Grace is just simply the presence of Holy Ghost, the presence of God either in the soul (sanctifying grace, which comes from the Sacraments) giving the soul life or around the soul (actual grace) pushing the soul to where it needs to go. At some point in your past, an actual grace of some sort gently pushed you along towards God and you either cooperated or you didn't.
This invitation God makes continuously; constantly drawing us to himself. We can either accept this invitation and turn to God or reject it and turn to the world. If we turn to God, we will love Him and neighbor as He loves. If we turn to the world, we will "love" God and neighbor as the world "loves". Now, how does the world "love" and why is it in quotes? The world refers to every desire as "love". If a desire offers you any sort of happiness or pleasure (be it sexual, emotional, or any other kind of pleasure), then it is called love. You "love" food. You "love" animals. You "love" your spouse. You "love" your sports team. The capacity for making you happy is the things capacity for being "loved". The happier it makes you, the more it is capable of being "loved".
What God offers us and has been drawing us towards using that small voice burning inside us this entire time that we have ignored for so long is love. Love is a desire to give yourself, to sacrifice yourself for the good of another. Love does not desire good times but rather companionship through life in the both the good times and the bad. It does not matter if they make you happy or not. Their actions do not decide whether or not you love them as love is not a desire for them to make you happy. That means they are the ones acting. No. In love you act. You are the one that gives yourself, sacrificing yourself for the ultimate good of the beloved. If we accept the invitation that grace gives us, the God will teach us how to reciprocate His love for us. He sacrificed Himself on the cross to make us clean and worthy of entering Heaven. All that's left is to bring the effects of the cross to us. For that we need to attach ourselves to Him by loving Him the way He loved us on the cross. He Himself will teach us His love for us that we may love Him in return. He will also teach us how He loves our neighbor so that we can love them the way God loves them. Look at a crucifix. That is how God loves, sacrificing Himself for the good of others. That's true love. At that point we are not acting the way wise men or successful people act. We are even greater. We are acting as God Himself acts. God has been inviting us to live this way for a long time. It's not a question of how will we answer Him, but rather how have we already answered Him so far since the time He called us long ago?