“To work! I am with you."

(Haggai 2.4)

All of us have a heart.
And I suppose the whole idea of having a heart is to make use of it.
We are expected to love!
Love God
Love the others
Love ourselves.
It is a tri-dimensional issue.

However without knowing,
many of us love badly.
Love is used frequently in songs and poems
But it is a very rare commodity in real life.

Just enough to see
the kind of interaction we have in our work place
our reaction when someone upsets us
our response to hurts and criticism.
If love is so common as we would like to believe,
then I do not understand why so many take
antidepressants to survive through the day
why in the UK - just to take one statistic -
one out of every six persons need to go to the psychiatrist for help…
I do not understand why so many send their elderly to homes
if they love so much their parents.

There seems to be a contradiction in our life style as Christians.

Jesus Christ preaches that it's better to serve others,
and we find ourselves domineering over others.
Jesus Christ told us to forgive,
and many times we are only too eager to settle the scores at all costs.
Jesus Christ told us not to worry about what to eat and what to wear,
and we have built a society based on savings.
Jesus Christ told us not to be scared of death,
and we do everything possible to avoid it.
Jesus Christ told us to love God above everything else,
and many times we find ourselves loving God after everything else.
Many disregard the Gospel message
because in life, we need to be practical, they say.
And in all our practicality we are
full of frustrations and anxieties.

This is the problem.
Is there a solution?

The solution has to do with the heart, with love!
"Love the Lord your God with all your mind
with all your heart,
with all your strength."

What does it mean?
Loving God with all your mind
means admitting that God is always right.
No need to bemoan our fate.
Or even resign ourselves to what happens in our life.
It means to keep trusting Him all along
Because He knows what He is doing.
And He always wants our best.
And He is smarter than us.

Loving him with all your heart
means not allowing anyone to separate us from Him.
Many times we refuse
to comply with what God is suggesting us to do
to satisfy our husband, wife, friends, children...
Many times our yearning for pleasure or comfort
or our fear of being ridiculed
or deference for the opinion of others
forces us to bend on our principles
and we find myself putting aside God!

Loving him with all your strength
means not allowing money to be our motivating force in life.
How many just work and work as if nothing else exists!
How many are so obsessed with cleanliness
that they make life impossible for everyone else living in the house.
When work or family or health or success become idols
then we are doomed to suffer.

Yes, there is no doubt.
Loving Him is the solution.

The ball now is in our court.
Let us start.

"When Daniel heard that the document had been signed,
he retired to his house.
The windows of his upstairs room
Faced towards Jerusalem.
Three times each day, he went down on his knees,
Praying and giving praise to God as he had always done.
The king then ordered Daniel to be brought and thrown
into the lion pit…
At the first sign of dawn he got up
and hurried to the lion pit, he called in anguished tones to Daniel,
'Daniel, servant of the living God! Has your God,
whom you serve so faithfully been able to save you from the lions?'
Daniel answered the king:
'May your Majesty live for ever!
My God sent his angel who sealed the lions' jaws;
they did me no harm.'
Daniel was relieved from the pit
and found to be quite unhurt,
because he had trusted in His God.

(Daniel 6, 11. 17. 20-23. 24b)

(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.