In every Mass, we pray that God would give us the grace to bring us to the “perfection of charity,” that to which Christ commands us at the end of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5?48). Really??!? The perfection of charity? Perfect love of every single person, including strangers, our enemies, ourselves? That is a really tall order.
A friend told me many years ago: “I know God has called you to the perfection of charity.” I??? That seemed impossible. But she was correct: ALL of us are called to it. Not just I, but you, and everyone.
These days, that phrase is standing out to me in Mass. I am really ran to reflect on it.
The hard thing about that is that to be loving, I have to put others before myself. So, perfect love depends on humility–LOTS of humility. That is no easy thing for me.
The great thing about it, however, is that we are called to perfect CHARITY, not perfection as such. I don’t have to be perfect at writing thank you notes or in speaking just right in conversation. I can forget a birthday or misunderstand someone’s intention. I can have HUGE failings, actually, and be tragically erroneous in how I approach someone or something. I might have horrible blemishes in the fabric of my life. I might terribly regret choices I’ve made or the miseries that my life has taken me through.
God does not need us to be superstars. God does not need us to be free of error. God does not want us to be gods. Rather, God just wants us to be humble, quick to forgive, and free of malice, resentment and wrath. God wants us to embrace our failings and our mis-steps, and let them help us become smaller in our own estimation of ourselves. Then He can be bigger in our lives, and we can love Him more perfectly.
Lord, purify us of the obstacles to LOVE!