It is by the path of love, which is Charity, that God draws near to us, and we to God.

“I find great joy and comfort in your love, because through you the hearts of God’s people have been refreshed.” –Philemon 7

One of God’s primary ways of loving us is through people. Think of the person whose love has enabled you to know more deeply the love God has for you. This person has refreshed you through their love, bringing you “joy and comfort”. When you were with this person, their love was so refreshing it was as though Jesus Himself was refreshing you. When you look at their face, you know “God is Love”.  I personally have no words to express how much I have been loved by people, many of them being you who are reading this post. The love I receive from you my friends refreshes me and enables me to love God more and more and to love back.

One of the commentaries that I read makes a comparison of God’s treatment of us as Christ pays with His life any debt that we, slaves to sin, may be owing.  Interesting point and worth a moment of prayer perhaps.

What may be worth more pondering is the choice of this Epistle for the feast of St. Albert the Great, the patron of scientists and teacher of St. Aquinas.  He is quoted as saying, “it is by the path of love, which is Charity, that God draws near to us, and we to God.”

It comes full circle: Christ’s willingness to free us from slavery, surely primarily an Act of Love, St. Albert’s vision in seeing the connection of love to life—his of science and great knowledge, and in the Gospel, the prophecy of Jesus of the fulfillment of this in his “suffering and rejection.”

Where is the place of Love in our lives?  How is it the connection of God to us everyday?  What, if any, suffering and rejection do we experience in trying to live these connections?

I want to share this famous story here. Abbe Pierre, the famous rag picker of Paris, lived in a large house with a dozen religious brothers. In the middle of January, when ice and snow covered the ground, a poor freezing family rang the doorbell of the large house and begged for some corner to sleep in; otherwise they would all freeze to death.

Abbe Pierre was worried because every room in the house was filled. Only the little chapel was not. So he took the Blessed Sacrament from the altar and carried it up the attic, where it as too cold to live. Then he bedded down the family in that only prayer room in the house, which was Christ’s own room, so to speak.

The next morning, the brothers were shocked to see the Blessed Sacrament gone and a family sleeping on the floor. They were horrified at this disrespect for the Lord’s room and were angry when Abbe Pierre told them that he had placed the Blessed Sacrament in the attic, where snow was blowing in through the roof tiles. Then the Abbe explained, “My brothers, Christ feels no cold or heat in the Blessed Sacrament. But Christ in people feels everything they do!”


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