“Always remember, my dear young friend, that Almighty God loves you very much: for love of you He created the world, the sun, the stars, and everything else that exists. He made your parents; He made you; He gave you your soul and your body.
Therefore, your most important duty is to know God, to serve God, and to love God with all your heart.”
Bishop Morrow — My Friend, published 1949
Bernhard Plockhorst — The Good Shephard
I have always noted that in the dystopia literary works (Brave New World, 1984 and the like) that human relationship, human love is suppressed or redirected in some way. A people comfortable and confident in their love for one another and their love of God and of God’s love for them are not easily led away from what is good. We are made to love God and to love one another. The catechism itself begins with the exhortation to love and serve God. It is in this act that we find the expression of who we are, who we are meant to be, why we are here. All those pressing questions are answered so succinctly we are here, made, born, fashioned and formed to love and serve God. The life of every Saint points to this inevitable conclusion: nothing is more worth living or dieing for than the love of God and service to Him.
This is the most elemental, the most basic tenant of Catholic life. I don’t say that to exclude non-Catholic Christians or even non-Christians. The Church teaches that God has written the natural law in all human hearts, it is our natural state to long for what is good. But the Catholic expression has a fullness that exists no where else. We have the Sacraments instituted by Christ. We have the Eucharist.
The Eucharist is a miracle. It exists outside of time and space. It exists wholly and completely in the supernatural realm. It is a tangible expression for us to be able to partake in the divine love of God’s self-sacrifice over and over, it reconciles the beautiful impossibility of Christ being anointed the priest who sacrifices and the lamb that is sacrificed and the fruit of the earth feeding our body and the fruit of the spirit feeding our souls. All this bathed in love. For God so loved the world.
God became one of us, lives in all of us, we serve Him when we serve one another and when we fail to serve each other we fail to serve Him. He takes upon us each of our sins when we let Him. And it is this that makes it impossible for us not to be willing to forgive others when they harm us. How can I not forgive my fellow man when Christ has paid for those wrongs with His own blood? It is one of the mysteries of the Passion. When Christ paid for all my sins He paid for all my enemy’s sins as well. To hold those hurts against me against my fellow man is to hold them against Jesus Himself. Thus Christ redeems us not only for ourselves, but heals the hurts we have between one another allowing us to love without limit.