On reflecting on what she looked forward to in heaven St. Therese of Lisieux said: “Oh! it is LOVE! To love, to be loved, and to come back to earth to make LOVE loved.”
Reflecting on this I see that so often love is not loved. Too often it is seen as a weakness or maybe even a commodity. For some people love becomes a severing quest for personal gratification. Cutting us off from each other and God. But in reality we are all connected. Each and everyone of us is of infinite worth and incalculable beauty. One of my favorite quotes is from Thomas Merton, his famous “Fourth and Walnut” epiphany “I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun. ”
It is these types of reflections that make me thankful for the community of saints and the faith that they and I share. That we are all in our muddy, ramshackle brokenness beautiful to God, it is only our own fears and despair which pull us away from Him and each other. We are made, crafted by God, to love and to be loved. Our beginning and our end should be entirely wrapped in love for one another and for God.