Today, February 14, as our thoughts turn to love and we share tender thoughts and red paper hearts with those who are special to us, don’t forget the most supreme expression of Love:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Pope Benedict XVI reminds of this in his 2007 Lenten Message:
Dear brothers and sisters, let us look at Christ pierced in the Cross! He is the unsurpassing revelation of God’s love, a love in which eros and agape, far from being opposed, enlighten each other. On the Cross, it is God Himself who begs the love of His creature: He is thirsty for the love of every one of us. The Apostle Thomas recognized Jesus as “Lord and God” when he put his hand into the wound of His side. Not surprisingly, many of the saints found in the Heart of Jesus the deepest expression of this mystery of love. One could rightly say that the revelation of God’s eros toward man is, in reality, the supreme expression of His agape. In all truth, only the love that unites the free gift of oneself with the impassioned desire for reciprocity instills a joy, which eases the heaviest of burdens. Jesus said: “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself” (Jn 12:32). The response the Lord ardently desires of us is above all that we welcome His love and allow ourselves to be drawn to Him. Accepting His love, however, is not enough. We need to respond to such love and devote ourselves to communicating it to others. Christ “draws me to Himself” in order to unite Himself to me, so that I learn to love the brothers with His own love.
Do read the whole thing.
Since the Pope has made love the theme of his Lenten message, maybe a slow, steady, reflective reading of Deus Caritas Est(God is Love), Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, would be a good start to your Lenten reading. Just read one paragraph a day. I recommend doing this first thing in the morning so the ideas can just percolate through your thoughts all day. Remember, Ash Wednesday is just one week from today! Don’t let Lent catch you by surprise.