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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

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St. Bonaventure

Exodus 3:1-6, 9-12
Psalm 103:1-4, 6-7
Matthew 11:25-27

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the burning love of god

"The bush, though on fire, was not consumed." —Exodus 3:2

Consider a burning candle. The flame on the candle eventually burns out when the wax is all consumed. In Jesus, however, we are not like candles which burn out, but rather like the burning bush, which is neither burned out nor consumed (Ex 3:2).

Some people are afraid to receive God's love. They fear that the fire of God's love will consume them (Heb 12:29), and they will never be the same. Immersed in God's love, they know they'll have to repent and be dedicated to holiness (Ex 3:5). Yet just as Moses was drawn to the burning bush by the awesomeness of the sight, God's love attracts people despite their fears.

God's burning love is a Trinity-love, the fire of love which perpetually arcs between the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit. God pours this burning Trinity-love, consuming but not destructive, into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Rm 5:5). Nothing can separate us from this love (Rm 8:38-39).

Be like Moses. Walk toward God, not away from Him. Remove not only your sandals, but any love for the things of the world (1 Jn 2:15). Don't be afraid of the overpowering love of God. Many have been hurt by failed human love, but the love of God never fails (1 Cor 13:8). Abandon yourself to God's love. Your entire life has been a search for His love. Be true to yourself and true to God. Live in His love (Jn 15:9).

Prayer:  Triune God, change me from being a consumer into being the consumed. I yield totally to Your burning love.

Promise:  "The Lord secures justice, and the rights of all the oppressed." —Ps 103:6

Praise:  St. Bonaventure advised: "Look not to the light but rather to the raging fire that carries the soul to God with intense fervor and glowing love."

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 5, 2009

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