I hope everyone is taking the opportunity to experience the beauty of these summer months. I have to remind myself that people come from all over the U.S. just to vacation in areas like the one we live in. Remember that, and take an extra nature walk (:
Today I want to talk about the universal call to holiness, and the “universal call to love”. Although the universal call to love phrase may not be in the catechism, I would think it’s safe to say that it is a major pillar that supports the Catholic Church. However, one thing that Fr. Mike Schmitz brings up is that love almost always breaks your heart (and I don’t mean that in a negative sense). Catholicism is really an invitation to a broken heart, in particular Jesus’ broken heart.
Choosing to love can be considered dangerous because it always costs you something. Catholicism offers you an invitation to a love that will break your heart. C.S. Lewis once said,
“Love anything and your heart will be rung and broken. So, if you don’t want your heart to be broken, then don’t give it away to anyone, even an animal”.
Even C. S. Lewis talked about the connection between love and sacrifice. As love grows, so does sacrifice. As sacrifice grows, so does love!
If we want to be more like Jesus, we need to let our hearts be broken, to enter into Gethsemane. When we are called to love Jesus, and love like Him, we will be called to endure sacrifice for true love. On the other side, when you ask God to take away sacrifice or suffering, you can easily choose a God of comfort over the God of the cross. Through the cross and suffering, we learn things that we can’t necessarily learn in the light.
However, there are many upsides to having a broken heart as a follower of Jesus. When your heart is broken for Jesus, you will be able to instantly meet others who are suffering right where they are. Pope Francis talks constantly about promoting a culture of encounter. Even with a broken heart, we are able to meet other people who also have broken hearts and are experiencing suffering in some way. In this brokenness, Jesus also meets us and shares in loving you even in suffering. Even in suffering, Jesus says to you, I trust in you! And I still love you.
A good example of this is in Mother Teresa. I won’t go too in depth but even she experienced a prolonged period of darkness. She said, “Jesus let me share with you this pain. If my separation from you brings others to you, then I am willing to suffer all that I suffer, with all of my heart, your happiness is all I want.” Another soon to be saint, Blessed Sabastian Valfre also said, “Every trial is permitted by God as a means whereby we can best ensure our salvation”.
Fret not, God is by your side. Oh and by the way, having a broken heart isn’t such a bad thing.