Love is Repaid By Love Alone

The purpose of the works presented here is to borrow a spark from that Uncreated Love that is the Blessed Trinity in order to rekindle the faintly glowing ashes of Christian charity into a blazing inferno of love for Love. The emotion man so indiscriminately refers to as stthereselove is the gift of Divinity, for Divinity. It is not of itself an emotion given to man for man; it is a powerful propellant to be used discriminately and judiciously by the intellect primarily for the adoration of the Creator, and only secondly for fellow creatures. All that we are and own is on loan. As Our Lord told St. Catherine of Siena: “I am everything, and you, my daughter are nothing.” All human love pales in comparison to its true Source. The ideal love of a man for a woman or a woman for a man, parents for their children as well as children for their parents is only a shadow of this first love or it is not love at all. The intense passion of lovers in its first bloom must stand in awe of that spiritual heat that fuelled the love of the saints and martyrs for Christ. It is a love that cannot even be rightly explained in human terms, for it extends beyond earthly boundaries and lives on the very edges of Heaven itself. It is an intense flame that consumes the entire being of the lover until it gradually spills over its mortal banks into the depths of that merciful conflagration that is the Sacred Heart itself. St. Paul himself faltered when trying to explain the joys and beauty of Heaven, and neither can the true lover give voice to his bursting heart or love-seared soul. It is a sacrificial immolation; an ecstasy of indissoluble union and this is the closest human words can come to describing the Divine.

Yet where are the keepers of the flame? Where are the Catholics who stand at the foot of Christ’s Cross and keep Him company in this, the Church’s darkest hour on earth? His Apostles, the saints and martyrs gave their all for Him, evangelizing the heathens, tortured in the Coliseum, burned at the stake, hung, drawn and quartered, preaching up to the moment of their execution, urging others to join them, forgiving those who persecuted and murdered them. This was the proof of their love, their gift returned to the Savior whose teachings they treasured and defended: love laid on the altar of sacrifice to eternal Love.

Lovers who experience this deep, abiding emotion spare no effort, overcome every obstacle, pay any price, walk over shattered glass or burning coals, scale incredible heights — all in the name of love. For what sacrifices will not be gladly made for the beloved? Yet turn this emotion to the service of God and humans behave as though they are unsure what to do. They can risk their lives for their fellow man or in defense of their nation, but not for the love of God. St. Therese, barely out of her teens, shamed us all. She knew she was “little” and could do little. But her little was far more than most today see fit to give. We have all become spoiled children, satiated with the distractions and allurements of the world. We can scarcely be bothered to say our daily prayers and a novena now and again far less attempt anything more. We have busy schedules, pressing problems, and “issues.”

Yet the crumbs tossed from our tables will not satisfy the Creator who filled our storehouses with the bread of love. If we have not set at least some small part of our lives aside for Him and only Him, we have lived an empty existence; any love we pretend to give to others is stolen from Him and can be only a counterfeit. Yet we have free will, and love is an act of the will. We can will ourselves to love God, to fuel our emotions in order to honor and serve Him. We can resolve to reform our lives and begin anew, even if only little by little, as St. Therese began. Resolve, then to begin today; for inspiration you need only look to the Cross and learn its lessons. We cannot pay our debt to God by an easy existence on this earth. As Pope Pius XII stated, the motto of Catholic Action is “Thy kingdom come on earth.” Who will fight to establish His kingdom? For as the Little Flower taught: “Love is repaid by love alone.”


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