“The Lord loves us much, let us love him too, love is paid with love. He gives us all in the Most Holy Eucharist, reason why we should give him all in return. Yes, let us give him the heart with its affection, the soul with its potentials and the body with all its senses so that we can say with the Apostle: I live but not me, it is Christ who lives in me” (Letter to the Abbot of Huelgas, 5 julio 1867, in EC II, p. 1168).
LOVE IS PAID WITH LOVE
Claret put as his Episcopal motto the known text of Saint Paul: “The love of Christ urges us…” (2Cor 5,14); a text that some people translate better today, using the Greek verb as: “The love of Christ possesses us…”, understood in the sense of a totality that wraps us and constrains us”, not simply as an external impulse and nothing more. The Bible of Luis Alonso Schokel and Juan Mateos translates it like this: “The love of Christ does not give us escaping chance”; such a love that is great such that it is not possible to find reasons or excuses to avoid it, forget it or spoil it.
The well learned in Greek syntaxes say that in this text, the complement “of Christ” is a “general genitive” or ambivalent; that is; that it signifies at the same time the love “that Christ has for us” and “the love we have for Christ”; in reality, the second is born from the first: he loved us first, and “he made life complicated for us”, in the better sense of the verb “to complicate”. Gratitude and tasks are heavy on us.
The reaction of the disciple has to be, humanly speaking, a response of total love. Half measured do not worth the pain, having one leg in two shoes. The complexity of the society today invites us continuously and tends to constrain us to a fragmented life, “liquid”, divided in various interests even including challenges; not wishing to renounce nothing, not having a true engine center; to live unfocussed, dispersed, internally and externally disintegrated, weak. The issue of lighting one candle for God and another for the devil, by which we never get matured humanly and spiritually. .
Is God really the center of my life with the love He has shown me in Christ? Is He the one who polarizes this love, sets up the hierarchy and gives meaning to all my existence, my thoughts, desires, discernment, love, decision and work? Does my “human affection” vibrate before God who loves me?