When LeAnn asked me to be a guest blogger for Catholic Compass, I was excited. Not nearly as excited as I became when she asked me to write about love. Let me tell y’all, love is my favorite thing. It’s my favorite to talk about, read about, and think about. This time of the year can always be a little stressful with finals, planning family events, shopping for the holidays and pretty much everything else (Does anyone else get stressed while picking out clothes for the day that will a) keep you warm when you’re outside but b) not leave you sweating bullets when you’re in class? Or is it just me?) Anyways, amidst all the chaos of the Christmas season, there is one thing that will always keep you going: love.
Sometimes it’s easy for love to get a bad rep--especially when people forget that there is more to love than just the things you see in the movies or hear in the songs on the radio. Don’t get me wrong, the cheesy head-over-heels kind of love is great, but there is so much more to it than just that. Love is one of those things that is all around us, and it is the very thing that keeps us afloat when life gets heavy.
A couple of year ago, I was introduced to a word that would change my perspective on my faith and on the kind of woman I wanted to be: agape. For those of you who don’t know, agape is the Greek word for God’s unconditional love. This kind of love is like the champions of all love; nothing in the world can compare to this limitless, sacrificial, and pure love. Even in the pit of our darkest times--when we’re caught up in school, and work, and life, and we realize that we’ve been sinning much more often than we’d like—even when we are feeling unlovable, God is looking at us with the greatest love, and is waiting for us in the Eucharist; the greatest, most loving thing in the whole world. There is nothing you could ever do that would make Him love you less. He loves every single broken piece of you, and that will never change.
Saint Therese of Liseux was a young girl who dreamed of being a saint. She wanted this so desperately, but she felt as though she, as little as she was, would not be capable to do the big, wonderful things that the saints did. So she resolved to do an abundant number of little things to “add up” to these big and wonderful things. She once said that, "our Lord does not so much look at the greatness of our actions, or even at their difficulty, as at the love with which we do them." She recognized God’s love for us all, and realized that it was her duty to spread that love with every person she encountered. She often declared that her true vocation was love—that love encompasses all vocations, all times, all places and everything that exists. God is love, and His love is all around.
God loves us all with such an unconditional and abounding love. As Christians, our purpose is to take this love, and share it with everyone we can. The most powerful way to share this love is to live in His love. Our hearts were made for love, and by loving each and every person to be greatest of our ability, we will change the world. I’d like to challenge you, dear reader, to follow this advice from Saint Therese:
Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.