June 2, 2019 – Seminarian Column

Seminarian Column

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Yesterday we celebrated Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those that died for our country and safety. During Mass, I reflected on Our Lord’s words to His Apostles at the last supper. He says, “There is no greater love than this; to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). In a translation footnote, it notes that the translation of “his friends” can also mean “ones who are loved”. This is what these service members have done, they have kept us safe from harm and gave their lives for their loved ones and for us.

But how can the average Catholic accomplish this? What is it that we can do on a day-to-day basis to fulfill this directive of God? Simply put, live for others. This is part of the path to personal sanctity, living for others in the specific way God has called you to. Actions we take for others need to be done for God ultimately. Feeding the hungry is a great and wonderful thing, but if done for personal glorification the intention is lacking. If done for the sake of the those starving, this is a noble and good intention. But, if feeding the hungry is accomplished out of a love of God, as a response to God’s love for you and in recognition of God’s love for the hungry, I cannot think of a nobler intention. Loving God through sacrificing whatever it may be, comfort, money, time, etc…, is a kind of fuel for the spiritual wellbeing of each one of us. In essence then, live for others as a response to God’s love. To live for others means to put others first sacrificing our own needs, wants, desires and essentially sacrificing our own life for others. That is how to accomplish this aspect of personal holiness.

Yours in Christ,

Joseph McHale

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