WHAT DOES LOVE LOOK LIKE?
Last week, we hosted the screening of the film “Augustine, Son of Her Tears”, the first of its kind in Malta and Gozo. The Filmmaker who was present at the event told us that the film featured 50 strong sayings of St. Augustine taken from his book, “The Confessions”. Among many other touching scenes, the highlight for me was the saying “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”
St. Augustine gives us a clear answer as to what it means to love God by loving our neighbour; which is our primary call and identity as Christians. Jesus said, “by this, all men will know that you are my disciples if you have a love for one another” (John 13:35)
In his message to young people on the Solemnity of the Assumption of our Lady in 2015, Pope Francis quotes a passage from the First Letter of John: “Let us love one another because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God. . . . If God so loved us, we also must love one another” (4:7, 11) and then calls God’s love, “The merciful embrace of the Father” which has the power to change our lives. It has the power to draw us into “the divine ‘logic’ of gift and gracious love” and makes us “capable of loving like him, without measure.”
The church is God’s family in the world. In this family, no one ought to go without the necessities of life. The teaching of Letter to the Galatians is emphatic: “So then, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (6:10) (Deus Caritas est 25).
In this way, ACN strives to be a bridge of love between the benefactors and beneficiaries, thereby uniting them in selfless love to a community of the Church, the mystical body of Christ.
Many of the greatest saints, including Francis of Assisi, Thérèse of Lisieux, and Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa found God’s love as they opened their hearts to the people around them, especially the poor and forgotten. The prayer of Saint Maria Faustina is a great inspiration for us:
“Help me, O Lord,
…that my eyes may be merciful so that I will never be suspicious or judge by appearances, but always look for what is beautiful in my neighbours’ souls and be of help to them;
… that my ears may be merciful, so that I will be attentive to my neighbours’ needs, and not indifferent to their pains and complaints;
… that my hands may be merciful and full of good deeds;
… that my feet may be merciful, so that I will hasten to help my neighbour, despite my own fatigue and weariness;
… that my heart may be merciful so that I myself will share in all the sufferings of my neighbour” (Diary, 163).