Recently my brother told me that he loved me. It was a blessing to hear those words, but I thought to myself, “What does that word even mean?” Love. What a word. Our experience of love in family life and friendships can be wonderful - but not always. No matter what our experience of love is, deep down inside, there is nothing in the world that we want more than this: to be loved and to love.
When St. John Paul II wrote his Letter to Families back in 1981, he affirmed that, “love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being.” (Familiaris Consortio 11). God is love (1 Jn 4:8) and we are made in his image, after his likeness (Gen 1:26). Therefore, love is normal. It is the main thing that we need and want in our lives because love is our origin (Gen 2:27), our life (Jn 10:10; Rom 5:5) and our destiny (1 Cor13: 8,13).
St. John Paul II goes on to say that every vocation has its’ origin in family life. But what if your family is not perfect? Welcome to the human race! No family is perfect. Notice how the New Testament begins. It begins with Jesus’ genealogy. This list is not a litany of saints. Some of these people in Jesus’ family line were good, some were not so good, while others were very bad. Original sin penetrated Jesus’ family line, as it does yours and mine. What is the solution?
Jesus. He is the Father’s answer to our hearts deepest longings. Whatever vocation God calls you to, ultimately it is going to be centered on love, therefore on God. If not, you will never be at peace. A religious vocation is a response of love, to love back the One who has loved us first. So, once you’ve found Jesus (THE source of love), it’s time to move forward in life. Or, as the infamous rapper Heavy D said back in the day, “Now that we found love what are we gonna do with it”?
Act of Love
O my God, I love you above all things
with my whole heart and soul
because you are all-good and worthy of all love.
I love my neighbor as myself for love of you.
I forgive all who have injured me
and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.
Fr. Sebastian Maria Kajko, CFR