No Greater Love

Today I want to present you with a new book. Not because I am done sharing my reflections from Fire Within, but because I plan to give my copy of this book away on Monday. This is also my second copy, so I probably will not buy another any time soon. Before I present this book, I want to paraphrase for you some of Fr. Dubay's favorite ideas from Fire Within, because I think they are a nice addition to my last post on distractions.

First, we should always remember that our relationship with God is a relationship of love. The reason why so many saints are misunderstood during their lives is that they are head-over-heals madly in love with God. This is not because they have some kind of physical experience of the divine that is similar to the marital embrace, but it is because at the heights of holiness God and the soul are habitually and essentially in a state of communion. This does not mean that feelings experienced during prayer are bad, but these feelings must be understood for what they are. They are the overflow of the communion experienced in the soul, and as prayer advances these feelings actually become more intense than any other feelings on earth. Also, while your prayer is dry and painful, always remember that God's plan in the world is Resurrection through Crucifixion. This is the plan that God carried out in the life of his Son incarnate, and this is the plan that God has for us, His spiritual children. Remember, the Resurrection is always right around the corner!

The book I want to provide a quick review of is No Greater Love. This book is a collection of wittings and sayings of Bl. Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa did not write any complete works for publication, and many books similar to this one have been published in recent years. I recommend this work in particular because the selections in it are all large portions of text which contain complete trains of thought. Anyone can read this book, but I do recommend that it is read carefully. Now, I want to simply share a few quotes from this book that will follow from other themes that I have spoken about recently. The power in this saintly women's words shines through, and a I think a reflection by me would simply reduce this light.

"We want so much to pray properly and then we fail. We get discouraged and give up. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. God allows the failure be He does not want the discouragement. He wants us to be more childlike, more humble, more grateful in prayer, to remember that we all belong to the mystical body of Christ, which is praying always.
We need to help each other in our prayers. let us free our minds. Let's not pray long, drawn-out prayers, but let's pray short ones full of love"(No Greater Love p.4).

"When Jesus came into the world, He loved it so much that He gave His life for it. He wanted to satisfy our hunger for God. And what did he do? He made Himself the Bread of Life. He became small, fragile, and defenseless for us. Bits of bread can be so small that even a baby can chew it, even a dying person can eat it. He became the Bread of Life to satisfy our hunger for God, our hunger for love"(p.82-83).

"Suffering will never be completely absent from our lives. So don't be afraid of suffering. Your suffering is a great means of love, if you make use of it, especially if you offer it for peace in the world. Suffering in and of itself is useless, but suffering that is shared with the passion of Christ is a wonderful gift and a sign of love. Christ's sufferings proved to be a gift, the greatest gift of love, because through His suffering our sins were atoned for"(p.136-137).

More on prayer from Fr. Dubay next time.