How do you love me? Let me count the ways.
How many of ways in which you love your child/ren would they consider as loving? Buying ice-cream on the way home from school, yes; making them eat their vegetables, no. Taking them to Dreamworld, yes; taking them to the dentist, no. Letting them do something they really want, yes; setting boundaries on their screen time, NO. Yet you as a parent know that many of the things they experience as negative are amongst some of the most loving things you do for them.
This coming week, the Church has the Feast of the Sacred Heart, in which we celebrate the Love of God towards us. If you look at the traditional picture used for this Feast, you see Jesus pointing to his Heart on fire, burning up with love for us. You also see thorns twisted tight around it, symbolising the suffering he went through in his Death and Resurrection. That is, burning, bright, warming love is mixed with harsh pain.
Recognising the many ways in which God loves us can be a challenge: we do not see God and more often than not only discover God’s love in reflection. As God’s relationship with each of us is unique, it will be different for each person. Some of the simplest things can be signs of his love. Silly as it may sound, I find a warm bed on a cold wet morning speaks to me of God’s love, as does sunrise on the Capricorn Coast. In the love of friends, I feel God’s care. But I also know God’s love in tough times when I keep going when I don’t want to and, importantly, when I say or do the right thing when I am confused and challenged beyond myself. On this coming Feast, I will take the time to count the ways in which God loves me. And I expect that once I start, I will discover ways I had not expected.
Loving God, let me count the ways in which you love me. As I discover the simple and the quirky signs of your love, may I be a sign of your love to my family. I ask this in Jesus’ name, confident that you will hear me.
Sr Kym Harris osb