When we allow our human heart to be surrounded by God’s heart, we find joy and hope in the nooks and crannies of each moment and God present in every wrinkle of our day. This awesome love that God has for us is a touchstone of Salesian Spirituality, a spirituality for everyday people living everyday lives through the teachings of Saints Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal.
Sometimes it is hard to believe that God loves us without condition. After all, we are not all lovable and no one of us is lovable all of the time. But we can be thankful that God’s love does not depend upon us. It is simply in God’s nature to love us. God’s love knows no bounds!
What does this unconditional love for us mean? Are we to simply wallow in it for ourselves? We know that is not God’s intention as we are commanded to “love one another as I have loved you.” Francis de Sales tells us, “We will not often have the opportunity to do great things, but every day, we will have the opportunity to do little things with great love.”
DeSales believed every person is beloved by God and called to be holy, and that living out this holiness is found in how we love. He tells us “Be who you are and be that well so that you can bring honor to the Great Artist whose handiwork you are.”
A friend of mine is a Sister who taught young children for many years. She tells the story of one little guy in her first grade class who was the bane of her existence that year. He couldn’t sit still for two minutes. She remembers walking up to him and placing her hands on either side of his face and saying with great frustration, “What am I going to do with you?” His eyes got big as saucers as he said to her, “Sister, no one has ever loved my face before.”
The way we touch people, with our words, with our physical touch, with our careful expectation truly makes a difference. We do not have the benefit of God’s ability to love unconditionally. We are human and affected by the world we live in, but if we open ourselves to accept God’s unconditional love for us, to believe that we are truly God’s beloved, then we can be the presence of truth and joy for one another. As God’s beloved, we too can become the lover.