little things

Love of God Shown in Little Things

Adapted by Eric Valles


I.                     A love is as good as how much of oneself, down to details, is put into it and how good the loved one is.


All loves are copies of agape. How can we love God and follow Him when we cannot see Him? We love God not in the vast continuum of time and space but here and now, in the small, ordinary vicissitudes and annoyances of daily life. We love Him by performing our duty such as writing a term paper, sweeping the bedroom floor, mailing letters or by carrying out a resolution of not wasting time over email.


Love for God is mirrored in the love of a boy for his mother (filia). St. Josemaria narrates how an 8-year-old boy taught him about love. The boy lived at the far end of town. One day, the boy decided to walk from his house to school in order to save the train fare for a birthday present for his mother. When he arrived home, he dipped into his trouser pocket for the coins he had saved. He felt the coarse fabric and discovered not a coin but a hole instead. The boy decided to walk again for more days to save enough money. He was not discouraged by the sacrifice.


II.                   We, in turn, need to examine what we have done that is vaguely similar to that boy's generosity. If we cannot recall any, perhaps our love for God is superficial. Can't we be more heroic in showing concern for our family or in making light of any tension in our dealings? Can't we be more determined to root out a defect that has been the object of our particular examination of conscience for months? Can't we offer up more mortifications such as guarding our eyesight and imagination better to back our petition for a more fruitful apostolate this school year? Can't we give Our Lord quality time in mental prayer even if we have a million things to do?


III Big improvements happen with little effort:


Do you have a few extra minutes? That is all that is needed to improve your relationship with God.

We schedule appointments with the doctor, the car mechanic and the hairstylist, but how often do you fit in time for your relationship [with God]? There are ways to use the extra time to relate to your mate.


Life is still a honeymoon for Tom and Agnes Walter, who have been married for 44 years. Tom has given Agnes a rose, once a week, for the last 34 years. Although it's simple and easy, it does take remembering and it makes me think of Agnes and think of our relationship," Tom said. (Last anecdote from NewsNet5)


And recalling the little things is important. It's a concrete way to say "I love you."


IV.                 St. Josemaria advises us to be like medieval artisans building a cathedral:


point 115, Passionately Loving the World, Conversations with St. Josemaria:


Authentic Christianity, which professes the resurrection of all flesh, has always quite logically opposed 'dis-incarnation', without fear of being judged materialistic. We can, therefore, rightfully speak of a 'Christian materialism', which is boldly opposed to that materialism which is blind to the spirit.

What are the Sacraments, which early Christians described as the foot-prints of the Incarnate Word, if not the clearest manifestation of this way which God has chosen in order to sanctify us and to lead us to heaven? Don't you see that each Sacrament is the Love of God, with all its creative and redemptive power, giving itself to us by way of material means? What is this Eucharist which we are about to celebrate, if not the adorable Body and Blood of our Redeemer, which is offered to us through the lowly matter of this world (wine and bread), through the 'elements of nature, cultivated by man,' as the recent Ecumenical Council has reminded us (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 38).

It is understandable that the Apostle should write: 'All things are yours, you are Christ's and Christ is God's' (1 Cor
3:22-23). We have here an ascending movement which the Holy Spirit, infused in our hearts, wants to call forth from this world, upwards from the earth to the glory of the Lord. And to make it clear that in that movement everything is included, even what seems most commonplace, St. Paul also wrote: 'in eating, in drinking, do everything as for God's glory' (cf 1 Cor 10:32).


116 This doctrine of holy Scripture, as you know, is to be found in the very nucleus of the spirit of Opus Dei. It leads you to do your work perfectly, to love God and mankind by putting love in the little things of everyday life, and discovering that divine something which is hidden in small details. The lines of a Castilian poet are especially appropriate here: 'Write slowly and with a careful hand, for doing things well is more important than doing them.'

I have just said, sanctify your everyday lives. And with these words I refer to the whole program of your task as Christians. Stop dreaming. Leave behind false idealism, fantasies, and what I usually call mystical wishful thinking; if only I hadn't married, if only I hadn't this profession, if only I were healthier, if only I were young, if only I were old... Instead turn seriously to the most material and immediate reality, which is where Our Lord is: 'Look at My hands, and My feet,' said the risen Jesus, 'be assured that it is Myself, touch Me and see, a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see that I have' (Luke 24:29).

Light is shed upon many aspects of the world in which you live, when we start from these truths. Think, for example, of your activity as citizens. A man who knows that the world, and not just the church, is the place where he finds Christ, loves that world. He endeavours to become properly formed, intellectually and professionally. He makes up his own mind with complete freedom about the problems of the environment in which he moves, and then he makes his own decisions. Being the decisions of a Christian, they result from personal reflection, in which he endeavours, in all humility, to grasp the Will of God in both the unimportant and the important events of his life.

People shouting at the world over megaphones; Size=240 pixels wide

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