Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Courage to Keep Living and Working

Georges Rouault (1871-1958), Road to Emmaus
I would feel quite desperate writing about human persons and relationships if I thought we had to depend on our own fragile natural powers to generate a lasting human community.

History has demonstrated again and again our stubborn selfishness and attachment to narrow interests that frustrate the aspiration for justice and solidarity.

But our hope rests in something greater than this present age, the promise of the glory of Eternal Love.

And our hope begins now, because this Love has entered our history, and He has already begun the transformation of our lives. Life has meaning now, because God has come to dwell with us. He has come to be our companion in our world, in our hearts, within our relationships. He wants to be with us, to renew our strength, and to bring us to a fulfillment beyond all our limits and all our measure.

By faith, with hope, in the charity poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, we discover a new reason to love our neighbor, and even to love our enemy with a love that endures all things: Jesus is here.

Jesus is our neighbor. And we long for His love to be everything to every person. He brings everything to its fullness. And so we find the courage to keep living, to keep working, to let His love define us, to never give up.
"Faith, hope and charity go together.
"Hope is practised through the virtue of patience, which continues to do good even in the face of apparent failure, and through the virtue of humility, which accepts God's mystery and trusts him even at times of darkness.
"Faith tells us that God has given his Son for our sakes and gives us the victorious certainty that it is really true: God is love!
"It thus transforms our impatience and our doubts into the sure hope that God holds the world in his hands and that, as the dramatic imagery of the end of the Book of Revelation points out, in spite of all darkness he ultimately triumphs in glory.
"Faith, which sees the love of God revealed in the pierced heart of Jesus on the Cross, gives rise to love.
"Love is the light—and in the end, the only light—that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working. Love is possible, and we are able to practise it because we are created in the image of God. [We are invited] to experience love and in this way to cause the light of God to enter into the world."

~Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est 39