- Maria Greco
For Him Alone
"The way of Love has a name; it is Sacrifice."
St. Josemaria Escriva
Love is everything. Without love everything would succumb to nothingness and void. Love is everything. Love gives purpose to our lives, strength to our spirits and joy to our hearts. Why is this? Because God is Love.
In John 21:15-17 Our Lord asks Peter "do you love me?" three times. The word "love" in Latin can be translated into many different meanings. Specifically in Holy Scripture with Latin translation, John accounts Our Lord asking Peter if he "agapes" Him. Agape takes on a deeper, more intense meaning than love does. Agape is the highest form of love and it means to self-sacrifice for the other. Peter in turn responds by saying that he "phileos" Him which is a lesser form of love, simply a brotherly love. Peter takes into account his own weakness, after having realized how truly weak he was by denying Our Lord three times. After saying he would lay down his life for Jesus, Peter doesn't trust himself to saying that he "agapes" Him because he understands deeply his own frailty. However, Peter will "agape" Jesus in the future and will self-surrender his life for Jesus' sake. Peter will die a martyr for love, and so to speak, prove to dear Our Lord that he does indeed agape Him.
What about us? Do we agape Jesus? Do we make acts of self-sacrifice to so to speak prove to Our Lord that we truly love Him? Are we seeking out what is most pleasing for love of God? I assure you, one can only please God by doing His Will and renouncing one-self for love of Him. Yet, there is a deep joy in renunciation and self-sacrifice for love of God. In this way we become more like unto Him. For He first chose the path of renunciation and self-denial for love of you.
One way to please Our Lord and console His Sacred Heart is to dress modestly and to treat one's body as the temple of God which it truly is; for Jesus lives in our hearts. Our Lord is deeply offended by immodesty and impurity. The vast majority of young women and men nowadays are blind to the fact that their immodest clothing offends God and hurts Him. Purity and modesty embodies the way we live and reveals the way we speak. It's so important that our young ladies speak femininely and with modesty as well and as for the young men to speak with dignity and respect. But how far away do we see this in society today! I suspect that immodesty is the result of impure speech, and impure speech the result of immodesty; both are a result of the lack of fear of God. How desperately society needs the fear of God. For "the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom." Proverbs 9:10
Dressing modestly and speaking with purity are beautiful ornaments of the soul. I've found that woman who lack modesty in dress do not realize how lovely and attractive feminine dress appears. They fear that modest dressing would cause them to be overlooked or simply found to be unattractive - yet how further this could be from the truth! On the contrary, Our Lord has designed that the woman and the man be distinctly different from each other, with their differences complimenting each other. This is one of the reasons why women are encouraged to wear feminine modest skirts/dresses. This form of dress can only be worn by the woman and so is a public display of the beauty, distinctiveness and uniqueness of the female. It's important that both men and women dress in a way that hides what must remain hidden. For the body is sacred and must be treated as such, dressing intentionally with dignity and modesty. Women and men who know their dignity in Christ live modest lives. This in turn attracts others who are seeking after the same ideal which in turn leads to a peaceful, joyful and fulfilling life because you are at peace with God.
Let us implore the Immaculate Heart of Mary to make our lives immaculate in purity, modesty and holiness.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!