Saturday, May 11, 2013

Using Our Talents For Love

God gives each of us talents, which He wants us to "invest" in life. Our talents are concrete capacities to love, and He gives them to us so that we might each grow in His image and likeness, so that we might fill the universe with the love He has bestowed on us, the love that creates and sustains each on of us in this very moment, the love of He who is Love. He makes us capable of recognizing Him with gratitude and wonder, and reflecting His Love in every circumstance. Our talents help shape our personal, particular ways of loving God and loving our brothers and sisters.

Loving means loving. It means giving what I have received. It means giving myself, in this moment, to the person or persons who have been entrusted to me, as a husband and father first, and then also in the use of my particular talents to serve others and build up the good. So, if I'm "busy" with things -- if I am speaking or writing or communicating on the internet or on my blog, or sitting in a library surrounded by old fashioned books and paper, or presenting a lecture in a hall or a classroom -- I must ask myself, "Why am I here? Am I here to give myself, or to build up and enrich my capacity to give? Am I here for love? Or am I just here to show off? To exercise my ego? To dissipate myself in an exchange of information that is really just sophisticated gossip?"

At this moment, I'm trying to write. But my writing is worthless unless it is an act of giving myself to those I hope will read it. Is this a gift of myself? I want it to be; I pray that it might be thus, even though I find myself so easily sidetracked, derailed, or just mixed up in this work and in everything else I do.

Many of us are like this. We offer ourselves in love and witness, but we find ourselves afflicted with so many obstacles: we have our own daily struggles, we are sick, we are tired, we are stressed out.

We must bring all of it to the One who holds us in His love.

Perhaps we feel that our love is only a poor imitation of the love we have received, that our love is all mixed up with self-promotion and vanity. And indeed it is. Let's love anyway. Let's do what we can, and also nourish ourselves continually at the places where we find Him who has loved us.

Indeed, we must let Him love us, through the Church, through the sacraments, through prayer, through our brothers and sisters, through the very truth and goodness of the joys and the sufferings of life. It all belongs to Him, and it is all the work of His great and mysterious love for us and our destiny. In His love we will find the strength to give ourselves, and to give Him to others.