One of my favorite songs is Where is the love by the Black Eyed Peas. Another favorite song of mine with pretty much that same title is Where’s the Love by Hanson. Both songs are catchier than cholera! But why are these pop secular bands asking this question when there are tons and tons of music about “love”? And people throughout the day say to each other “have a NICE day!” Maybe the world yearns for a tough, courageous, sacrificial, unconditional love. (A.D.D. flashback to CS Lewis’ book on The Four Loves. Another A.D.D. flashback to the commonly used online phrase “church of nice” used in a negative sense.) But it seems our culture supposedly filled with “love” is seeking for another kind of “love.” What, Shakespeare pray tell, is that love the world is seeking?
Maybe Saint Mother Teresa can help us out here. She’s talked about the kindness of a simple smile. But she also talked about charity (christian love). Concerning charity, she said that to be fruitful, it must cost us. People have tried giving her things they just wanted to get rid of, but St. Mother Teresa saw right through that with her X-ray spiritual summer sunglasses. She said, “I want you to give from your want until you really feel it!” Third A.D.D. moment of this blog: this reminds me of the classic book: The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Oh, and also Love Beyond Reason by John Ortberg.
In my life, I’m definitely feeling the cost and struggle as I help my mom recover from her stroke. For those who don’t know, it all falls on me as my dad’s passed, I’m the only child, and her siblings are all in Canada. And she doesn’t want help from strangers…so I’m feeling the weight on my shoulders.
Now to get DEEP…why would we love like this…why would we love “from our want” and “we feel the cost”…why would we love our neighbor “indefatigably”…this love so “harsh and dreadful”…when you have to dig deep to keep loving? We love our neighbor like this because Jesus loves us like this and also because Jesus is present IN our neighbor! #canIgetAnAmen?!
I feel like many Catholics are aware of the C.S. Lewis quote, “Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” That quote is always tossed around in person and on the Internet. BUT if you read the book this quote comes from (The Weight of Glory), then you’ll see in the very next line that, “If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat -the glorifier and glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.”
So back to the Black Eyed Peas and their question, “Where is the Love?”…The answer is: In our neighbor where God, who is love, lives and reigns. But of course this is second to Jesus’ love for us through His presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Prayer: Lord, Jesus, thank you for your unconditional, sacrificial love for us! Help us to imitate you and love you in our neighbors. Saint Mother Teresa, pray for us!
Going old school with my boy C.S. Lewis and my girl Saint Mother Teresa,