“People always say that, when you love someone, nothing in the world matters. But that’s not true, is it? You know, and I know, that when you love someone, everything in the world matters a little bit more.” ~ Jodi Picoult
Bishop Grutka, may he rest in peace, used to meet with Confirmation candidates immediately before their Confirmation Mass. He would speak to them about integrity, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and love. Always love. His motto, after all, was Ubi Caritas, Ibi Deus (Where there is love, there is God).
He would ask us what the worst thing would be that we could do to our parents. Some of us would say that it would be horrible to lie to them. Others would claim that the worst thing would be to yell at them. We would share many of our ideas and then the bishop would say that the worst thing to do would be to offend them. He stated that we we offended someone, we wounded them deeply. The worst thing that could happen to us, Bishop Grutka would say, was to look into our parents’ eyes and realize that we had offended them.
That kind of hurt, the bishop stated, was a very unique hurt. It hurt so bad because our parents mattered to us. We would never want to offend the people in our lives who mattered. At that point, he would ask us to think about how we may have offended our parents. Once he got the “Catholic guilt” going in us really good, he would then talk about how that is nothing compared to how we offend God.
He would tell us that there was a very special, unique pain reserved for us when we saw God face-to-face and saw the suffering and pain that our sins caused Him to endure. It would be so painful, the bishop told us, because, after all, we loved God so very much. No one, the bishop would say, no one would want to hurt the person that he or she loves.
Picoult shares the same sentiment: “when you love someone, everything in the world matters a little bit more.” I know, for myself, that is absolutely true. Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to come to know many people. Some have been mere acquaintances and others have become people I have loved and for whom I cared.
When we love someone deeply, we hurt when they hurt and we celebrate when they celebrate. We grieve when they grieve and we hope when they have hope. Examine your relationship with God and try to plumb the depth of love that you have for Him and He has for you. Celebrate that love. Nurture that love. Make sure that love matters.
FAITH ACTION: If you have wounded Jesus, the One you love, you might want to consider going to confession today. Most churches hear confessions on Saturday afternoons.