posted on: Thursday September 23, 2010
by Fr. James Cuddy, O.P. / Contributing Writer
If you’re anything like me, you were glued to the television last weekend watching coverage of the Holy Father’s trip to Britain. Pope Benedict XVI is, after all, my favorite German. (In case you’re curious, second on the list is former NBA All-Star Detlef Schrempf). What? You weren’t watching the Pope? Well, lucky for you, I caught what he had to say, and it’s important enough to recap here in this little column.
Speaking in Westminster Cathedral, to young people not unlike yourselves, the Pope offered a reflection on what it means to be human. And his talk can be adequately summarized by one basic quotation: “We were made for love.”
Each of us was made to receive love and, thanks be to God, we have. Reflect for a second on the simple fact that your existence is an expression of God’s free love. You are here because God loves you. Add on to that the love that you have received, in ways both great and small, from family, friends, and teachers. We can never be thankful enough for the love we have experienced from others.
But we’re not just sponges, content simply to soak up the love of others. Love is a two-way street, and so the Pope reminds us that we were made to give love too. All of our actions – again, both great and small – should have love as their motivating force. From time to time, it is brutally difficult to give love to others. You might be tired or exceedingly busy. The person who you try to serve might be nasty and ungrateful. You might get discouraged and feel like you’re not making a difference or wasting your time. You might be tempted to quit, but don’t. Remember that love is not a feeling, but a choice. Choose to love, and ask God to help you make good on your decision. That’s what it means to be alive. To receive love and to give love. Make these things the foundation of your life and you will find peace and joy. You will find excitement and adventure. You will find the satisfaction of the deepest longings of your heart. Because you will have found God, who is love itself.