Pope Francis invited us last Lent to give up our indifference and the message is still powerful today. This video by One Life LA reminds us of the Pope’s call to opening our hearts to the call to love.
One Life LA is an organization that is reaching out to the world to recognize the dignity of every human life. Blessed Mother Teresa is heard in the background of the video calling us to forget about ourselves and love our neighbors. Later in Mother’s speech she uses very strong words, “It hurt Jesus to love us. We have been created in His image for greater things, to love and to be loved. We must ‘put on Christ’ as Scripture tells us. And so, we have been created to love and to be loved, and God has become man to make it possible for us to love as He loved us.”
It is good to be reminded that love hurts and that it “hurt Jesus to love us”. Love is not an emotion and often choosing to love goes against our feelings. It requires that we forget ourselves— we become selfless, and put the needs of our neighbors first. In our culture, it has become the standard to place oneself at the center of the universe. This engrained mentality has to be unlearned. But Jesus does not ask us to do anything he did not first do. How can we continue to answer Pope Francis’s reiteration of the Lord’s call to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31)?
- Discover: “We love because he first has loved us” (1 John 4:19). To be filled with God’s love is the first step to unlearning indifference. In order to reach out to others we have to discover that Christ is reaching out to us. Pope Francis talks about this in his Lenten message, “He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him.” This is the cure for all loneliness— to know that there is someone, the One, seeking after us. When we are tired and abandoned there is a Seeker who knows us, wants us, and loves us. If we discover who we are to God we can then discover who our neighbor is to him.
Check out this link:
2. Reorient: We always have to be reminded of this Love and continuously reorient ourselves to it. Literally reorienting our schedules is a concrete way turn away from indifference and choose love. It is really easy to get caught up in the busyness of the day, but making a conscious effort to reorganize your schedule for God in prayer or for your neighbor in conversation, helps us to take ourselves out of the center. Making space in our day makes space in our hearts!
St. Therese made sacrifice beads in order to hold her accountable to making sacrifices for others. This is a great way to reorient our hearts towards God! Here is a website with directions on how to make them.
3. Choose: Making an intentional act of the will to forget ourselves for the sake of our neighbor. Love is learned in everyday moments. Read this article for ways you can choose to love your neighbor in ways we often forget.
To read Pope Francis’s Lenten message in full click here.