Our Lady and Sheen

Sacrifices of Love

I’ve been kicking around in my head all day, and some of yesterday the idea of sacrifice.  Sometimes it’s easy to think that all sacrifices come in the same vein as the single greatest sacrifice of love, the Cross.  We all know that, “Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die(Romans 5:7).”  And indeed, for someone we love, we think that this death might be easier to endure.

When we think of the smaller things sometimes they are easier to give up for others, and sometimes they are harder.  If a friend asks me for a dollar, I have no problem in handing them the currency.  If a friend asks me for 10 minutes, on Monday, perhaps it is harder for me to put their needs before my own.  If a stranger is struggling through the door, I will take the time to open it.  These are all, in their own way events that have potential to be a sacrifice of love.  We say to ourselves, “I know I really want that last piece of cake, but I can offer it to someone else instead.”  Certainly, these are good things to practice.

The Blood of the Cross poured out for the world to see, before mother and beloved deciple, servants and free, enemies and soldiers.  The sacrifice of love on Golgotha was for the redemption of you, and I, each the most beloved of all creation, despite what arithmetic tells us.  The sacrifice of the Holy Cross is present for those to see, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the Love of the Father sacrifices for us once and for all time.  At every moment praise and thanksgiving is given up to God, and at every moment throughout history and the future their stands One, like the Son of Man, crucified yet alive, slain yet standing, cursed by human lips yet uncursable.

That sacrifice, the one that emulates the Love of the Father who gives his only begotten Son is easy to picture.  If, says the self to the beloved, I must sacrifice, I will bleed for thee more than anyone has ever bled, and as I breathe my dying breath, I will think of nothing but you and that paradise that awaits he who lays down his life for a friend; because of those three words, “I love you.”

I put forth to you and I instead, what if, and I do not know, that is not your cross.  What if the greatest sacrifice of love you can make is to fail to show the blood of the offering.  To keep hidden within your heart and soul, the traumas and lashings and bruises and bleedings that cry out constantly, “I love you!”  What if the true measure of our lives is not how much we show the life of our veins, but how much it flows unseen.

The only example I can think of, other than that of the Father, is that of the parents.  Parents constantly lay down theirselves for their children, with no recognition.  Even the act of sending a child to the first day of kindergarten rips through the heart of a parent, and yet, they willingly and cheerfully send the little one onto that very big bus.

I pray for strength to more lovingly offer my sacrifices of love, be they purely of praise to God or if they are made to the Father out of love for my brothers and sisters here in the church militant or in the church suffering.

God Love You

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August 24, 2010 - Posted by | Random Stuff | , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Very, very, very good points in here Stephen! You write beautifully 🙂 I hate to think that I “fail to show the blood of the offering,” but I do…and I’m not sure it’s a sacrafice of love. It makes me want to change that, because for me, I don’t think that’s the best way to measure life. I need to ponder this for awhile! Thank you for sharing!!

    Comment by Ash | August 24, 2010 | Reply

  2. Great post, Steve.

    Really, sometimes I feel like a failure at sacrificing for others, but God’s mercy is endless, and He helps me along with my baby steps. 🙂

    Comment by Christine | August 24, 2010 | Reply


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