Remain in My Love

Dear Friends,

“…everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him.”

How pleasantly surprised I was when I saw the above words in our second reading for this weekend. I had just used these same words in Grade 8 to help answer a question I had received from a student ~ “What do you think love is?” I also read to them from Saint Paul’s letter to the Corinthians where he eloquently and poetically speaks of all the qualities of true love. I noted that the qualities Paul highlights about love ~ patient, kind, not jealous, not rude, does not seek its own interests, not quick-tempered, rejoices with the truth; bears, believes, hopes, endures all things ~ are the same attributes of God. So true love is what God is. True love is willing the good of the other as other.

The conversation in Grade 8 arose in the context of teaching our students the stunning and life-changing Theology of the Body for Teens (Discovering God’s Plan for Love and Life). Saint John Paul II first presented this marvelous teaching about “human love in the Divine plan” at his weekly audiences. His teachings were subsequently published in book form. It is a really remarkable, insightful and deeply moving understanding about human love and God’s plan.

Add to this, the topic for the priest workshop last week was “The Sacrament of Marriage: Concretely Applied.” The three speakers, all involved with marital preparation and/or Theology of the Body programs were very good, enthusiastic and uplifting, especially Megan Murphy who is from the Diocese of Scranton.

The workshop topic was an outcome of a new initiative within the Archdiocese flowing out of the World Meeting of Families. The initiative is entitled “Remain in My Love.” It is a planned effort to look at our understanding of marriage from three perspectives in the current social climate with the hope of reviewing and refreshing our own understanding of Church teaching and ways to share that with others. It is an exciting opportunity for all of us.

Our culture, society and social media make it so difficult to navigate life generally and married life in particular. There is next to no support in society for the understanding of the four non-negotiables in sacramental marriage ~ free, total, faithful, fruitful. God has placed within us through creation and through His grace, such wonder and awe! In the days ahead, may we rediscover and more deeply enter into His divine plan for human love. Stay tuned…

Prayerful best wishes to our children who made their first Holy Communion on May 5. May they and their families continue to grow more passionately as disciples of Jesus Christ, nourished by His Body and Blood!

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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