Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for May 13, 2012

Reflection for May 13, 2012

Christian love is the art of self-giving

by Sister Francis Bangert

The readings today continue to focus our gaze on the upcoming feast of Pentecost, when the eternal, burning Love-exchange between the Father and the Son, who is the Spirit, was poured out upon the frightened disciples in hiding.  This Love fired their spirits to go out and preach the good news, even to the Gentiles.

The word "love" is used nine times in the second reading and seven times in the Gospel. So it must be urgent that we "get it." This is not the "warm, fuzzy, feel good" love portrayed in the media.  It is the total, self-giving love demonstrated by Jesus, which doesn't count the cost.

What does this look like in everyday life?

This is laying down one's life for another. Am I "getting it"?  How burning is my love?

Sister Fran, your reflection is very thought-provoking. I appreciate very much your question: "Am I getting it?" Am I truly a disciple of the Lord, loving as an act of the will and not simply an emotional state? Love is best expressed in the little things that make one's inner spirit stronger to weather the bigger things - such as the Church's scrutiny of the orthdoxy of women religious in the US.

Hi, Fran,
Excellent examples of real love in your reflection!
Sr. Rose

Thanks, Fran for bringing the "love" idea down to earth for us.

Thanks Fran. I appreciated the reflection.

Right on, Sister Fran!!! I think you hit the nail on the head with your reflection and questions to ponder. I guess it meant a lot to me because it is the way I try to live my life. Still have a lot of work to do on the social issues, though.

Thank you, Sr. Fran! Your "how does it look" list is a great examen of how real and Christlike my love for others is on a daily basis. That is definitely the love all in the world need from us.

Thank you Sr. Fran for the reminder that I needed. Love is a word we use often in passing without realizing the true meaning of it.

Thank you Sister Fran. Your examples are wonderful for helping me look at how I live my everyday life. And thanks for the question "Am I getting it?" Wonderful words for reflecting.

Thanks, Sister Fran, for the reminder that love is in the little acts that come my way each day.

So if I failed to stay awake in vigil as my parents were dying, did I love them less?

LJK -- Sister Fran’s reflection challenges each of us to demonstrate Christ’s love in our everyday words and actions, and she cites some practical examples of us to consider. I think the bigger question to ask is: "Have I or do I love others in a way that is in keeping with the Gospel?" Certainly your actions of being with your dying parents (whether you were awake or not) is a gesture of love and sacrifice.


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