St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta was once asked about her prayer life. The interviewer asked, “When you pray, what do you say to God?” The beautiful Saint replied, “I don’t talk, I simply listen.” Believing he understood what she had just said, the interviewer asked, “Ah, then what is it that God says to you when you pray?” She replied, “He also doesn’t talk. He also simply listens.” There was a long silence, with the interviewer seeming confused and not knowing what to ask next. Finally, Mother Teresa broke the silence by saying, “If you can’t understand the meaning of what I’ve just said, I’m sorry, but there’s no way I can explain it any better.”
“Do you love me?” In the Gospel of today, we are presented with a dearest and wonderful exchange between the Lord Jesus and Peter after the experience of the first Easter on the planet. Peter had denied Jesus three times, so three times Jesus asked him if he truly loved Him. However, because the English language does not do justice to the conversation, each time Jesus asked Peter the question, He was actually using a different verb for love. It spanned the meanings of love from “like” to self-giving commitment. Jesus clearly wants to invite all of us into the deep and wonderful relationship of love that will take us through this life and make sense of all that happens to us with the real prospect of living forever in Heaven with Him. This does require fidelity and keeping the commandments. This is no impossible task because we were created for love, a real joy that seeks the best for the other and never looks back. What is complete is that love involves the self-emptying of the one who seeks to love, the faith in the promise that this is the way to peace and the joy that Heaven is waiting for us.
“Death and love are the two wings that bear the good soul to heaven.” Michelangelo
“Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of himself.” Mother Theresa