Jesus answered: ‘Will you lay down your life for me?’ - John 13:38

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Law of Love - Allocutio by Sister Geraldine

Valentine’s Day is coming, so today I’ll be talking about the heart, and the law of Love, and how to be a reflection of God’s love.

We are all called to be a reflection of God’s love. Because our world and society frequently lacks this love, we as legionaries should always try to actively bring love to others. To do this involves more than just our own will and intention, but demands a planned sense of purposefulness. Meaning, we should have the discipline to plan how we are going to go about our life, what directions we ourselves want to take, in terms of occupation or final life goals, so that we can be clear as to how to lead a life with a sense of purposefulness and through our works, in the service of others, bring them closer to God somehow.
Before God fashioned man out of Earth, I’m sure he must have planned how to create this wonderful creature called “Man”. Thus, similarly, whoever wants to make something out of one’s life, should make up one’s mind as to what kind of virtue we want to forge, or we labour in vain.

Anthony Campolo took a survey of 95 year olds, asking them if they could live their life over, what would they have done differently. They answered that they would 1) reflect more, and 2) Do more things that would last beyong our lifetime.

Frequently we think that our legionary daily works might be small, but its effects might last beyond our lifetime. Think about the great legionaries like Edel Quin and Alfie Lambe, if not for their efforts, the legion might not have spread far and wide in the world, and its effects, are carried on even after they have returned to be with God.

Life should be lived with a long-range view in mind. Short sighted living only breeds selfishness and meaninglessness, the desire to acquire as much as possible for the enjoyment of the present. Long range living helps us to aim towards a greater goal or purpose and continue questioning what is God’s will and plan for us.

However to carry out our plans requires more than just planning as well. It requires deep prayer and a heart that will never tire, or even if it does tire, it must be strong enough and have enough determination to try again. The heart is the centre of emotions, where the Holy Spirit dwells and the source of vigour and energy. If the brain tells you that something might be futile, or how small you are, the heart can tell you how great you can be, how God meant for us to not just be ordinary, but be extra-ordinary. The Lord has said “I will take away your stubborn heart of stone and give you an obedient heart. I will put my spirit in you and I will see to it that you follow my laws and keep all the commands I have given you” (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

No structure – social, medical, political, is wide enough to solve the problems of the world. They still exist. Only the law of love without reservations offers the best solution,. Think about it, Jesus dying on the cross for us, fulfilling His purpose, was borne out of Love, and through Jesus’s love, came the great gift of Salvation for all. The law of love demands that we see ourselves not just as material beings but spiritual beings, believing that the spirit is stronger than any material force, and believing in our spirit’s true home and resting place with God in heaven one day. Our sense of purposefulness thus also comes from walking faithfully and dilligently to this final destination (heaven lah), because of our spirit’s desire of true love that comes from God, with God. The law of love also demands that we refrain from being overly critical when we see people fall short of the true love that God. The real test is to come up with constructive alternatives to help each other and society to better become sources of love and wellsprings of goodness. To overcome the ills of the world without being sucked into the negativities of it. The law of love also calls us to live without fear, to examine all the artificial barriers of our life, be they psychological or material, and to eliminate them. No self-discipline, no task is without pain, and when we seek for growth, we must take steps of first consecrating ourselves to the Lord, learning the art of surrendering of our will and sacrifice. A commitment is needed and as legionaries we have already made our initial commitment through our promise. A commitment is also to make a little progress daily, that at the end of the week you can say: I have done a few good work and taken a few baby stepss; and the end of the month, several good works and am learning to walk steadily, and at the end of the year, perhaps taken 365 steps towards the Lord through my little acts of daily work.

Let us be reminded of what the law of love is, it goes like this: “I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains – but if I have no love, I am nothing.

Love is patient and kind; It is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope and patience never fail”, (1 Corinthians 13). Thus, if we do not see enough love in this world, and we ourselves hunger for it, let us try to BE that love and give that love instead of just always wishing to receive it. Genuine love does not take from another person; it gives to the one who is loved. Jesus said to gain life, “a man should love God with all his heart, mind and strength, and should love his neighbour as himself. May Mother Mary who loved enough to want to help in God’s redemptive plan for man, who loved enough to say Yes to the Lord always, help us to fulfill our purposes as well.

Let us pray for a heart that is patient and good, happy to help;
A strong heart able to face any discouragement; a devoted heart, which does not refuse sacrifices; a cheerful heart, which spread joy and optimism; a tender heart, which knows how to please by its attentions; a heart with a living faith, which sees in each person the image of God.


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