We have been, perhaps, Catholics all our life. But still, can I say convincingly that God loves me and therefore I love Him and rely on him for my happiness and comfort? Can I say that God loves me with such magnitude that He is powerful, tender, and holds my hands to walk with him through my life’s path?
C.S. Lewis was a British writer and lay theologian. He fell away from his faith during adolescence and returned to faith at the age of 32. His faith had a great impact on him afterwards that he wrote more than 30 books, which would strengthen the faith of his readers. One of his books “The Great Divorce”, is based on his dream vision reflecting heaven and hell. In this book he sums up the tender love of God in three statements:
• He loves
• He suffered
• He has waited for a long time
During the current uncertain time of Coronavirus pandemic, we are under safer-at-home order; there is no public Mass, no Sacraments, unless for reasons of absolute necessity and we are not able to visit our dear ones. In the midst of all this grief, boredom, and uncertainty, we can experience peace, if we become conscious of our God who has loved us and still loves us with tenderness. He loved us even when our storm-tossed soul raged at Him and battered its restless self against everything we saw as a threat. Even now, He loves us with tender care during this challenging time.
We can discover this fact if we quietly reflect on the events of our past life. The tender love of God, who longed to redeem us, now longs to see that we acknowledge His fatherly and motherly love. In the midst of acute pain and suffering, it may not be easy to acknowledge the fact that He loves us; but truly, He loves us more by sharing in our suffering. God suffers with us when we suffer. We can know this fact by faith and also by the historical evidences. We read in the Gospel that Jesus Christ was deeply moved with compassion towards those who were suffering, and it was out of love that He sacrificed Himself on the Cross.
During this time, when we miss the Mass and the Eucharist, let us take it as a great opportunity to see by hindsight how much God loved us so tenderly.
May God bless and inspire us
Fr. Arul Joseph V.