I’m sorry to disappoint any of their fans, but in fact it was neither Huey Lewis nor Celine Dion who waxed most eloquently about “the power of love.” After what we find in Sacred Scripture, you would be hard pressed to find a better explanation of the power of love than these words from the Imitation of Christ:
“Love is an excellent thing, a very great blessing, indeed. It makes every difficulty easy, and bears all wrongs with equanimity. For it bears a burden without being weighted and renders sweet all that is bitter. The noble love of Jesus spurs to great deeds and excites longing for that which is more perfect. Love tends upward; it will not be held down by anything low. Love wishes to be free and estranged from all worldly affections, lest its inward sight be obstructed, lest it be entangled in any temporal interest and overcome by adversity.
Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger or higher or wider; nothing is more pleasant, nothing fuller, and nothing better in heaven or on earth, for love is born of God and cannot rest except in God, Who is above all created things.
One who is in love flies, runs, and rejoices; he is free, not bound. He gives all for all and possesses all in all, because he rests in the one sovereign Good, Who is above all things, and from Whom every good flows and proceeds. He does not look to the gift but turns himself above all gifts to the Giver.
Love often knows no limits but overflows all bounds. Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of troubles, attempts more than it is able, and does not plead impossibility, because it believes that it may and can do all things. For this reason, it is able to do all, performing and effecting much where he who does not love fails and falls.” (Book III, Chapter Five)
Thomas á Kempis wrote these words about 1,400 years after Jesus first told His disciples, “my yoke is easy and my burden light.” The love that fills the Sacred Heart of Jesus does not grow weak with age. We might sometimes feel stale, but divine love never grows stale, and a fresh outpouring is always available to us. Christ only asks that we not greedily hoard this treasure.
Christ showed us His love on the cross, He gives us His love in the Eucharist, and He asks us to show others the same love, to give with the same measureless, self-sacrificial generosity. There is no better way than this to bring people to Him, to fulfill the mission of the New Evangelization — the mission to which all of us in the Archdiocese of Detroit are dedicated.
Fr. Charles Fox is a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit currently assigned to the theology faculty of Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He is also a weekend associate pastor at St. Therese of Lisieux Parish in Shelby Township and chaplain and a board member of St. Paul Evangelization Institute, headquartered in Warren.