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Monday, August 27, 2001

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St. Monica

1 Thessalonians 1:2-5, 8-10
Psalm 149
Matthew 23:13-22

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what love means by love

"We constantly are mindful before our God and Father of the way you are proving your faith, and laboring in love, and showing constancy of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." —1 Thessalonians 1:3

Jesus, being God, is Love (1 Jn 4:8, 16). However, love is not necessarily what many people in our culture think it is. "The way we came to understand love was that He laid down His life for us; we too must lay down our lives for our brothers" (1 Jn 3:16). As Dostoyevsky said, "Love is a terrible thing." Love is not superficial and selfish but rather is sacrificial, unconditional, all-consuming (see Heb 12:29), crucified, infinite, and mysterious. True love is much more than "a many-splendored thing."

Because God is Love, He is not only tender but also jealous and angry (see 1 Thes 1:10) — not as we are angry but in a way unique to God. Because God is Love, He is the just Judge Who will pay us the wages of sin, that is, death and damnation. Because God is Love, He is the Truth (see Jn 14:6). In love, He will, if necessary, call us "frauds" (Mt 23:13, 15), "blind guides" (Mt 23:16), "blind fools" (Mt 23:17), and hypocrites. Because God is Love, He died on the cross for us and calls us to be crucified with Him (Gal 2:19).

Let us accept the courage to live in love (Jn 15:9), as the Lord Who is Love means love.

Prayer:  Father, consume me in Your love.

Promise:  "Our preaching of the gospel proved not a mere matter of words for you but one of power; it was carried on in the Holy Spirit and out of complete conviction." —1 Thes 1:5

Praise:  St. Monica loved her son into conversion through prayers, fasting, and vigils.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, February 13, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 20, 2001