Thursday, April 26, 2012
Feast of our Lady of Good Counsel
Good morning. Ah springtime! It looks to be another fantastic spring day here in southern Indiana. The expected weather today calls for it to be in the mid-seventies with partly sunny skies. Maybe I should take the day off work and go fishing. Spring, it’s a wonderful time of year with everything returning to life, thunderstorms, and the birds are all twitterpated. It reminds me of Friend Owl’s comment to Bambi, Thumper and Flower: “Yes. Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime. For example: You're walking along, minding your own business. You're looking neither to the left, nor to the right, when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face. Woo-woo! You begin to get weak in the knees. Your head's in a whirl. And then you feel light as a feather, and before you know it, you're walking on air. And then you know what? You're knocked for a loop, and you completely lose your head!” Of course Owl is speaking of the response on the part of all of nature to an innate desire to be with another. We too are drawn to another, it is as God intended. Scientist call this phenylethylamine (PEA) which combines with dopamine and norepinephrine to create pleasingly positive feelings toward the other. PEA is found in chocolate. The movies call this phenomena of being drawn to another as being “Amore!”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus likewise speaks of being drawn to the Father. He says, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him." We see similar drawing effects all about us, a flower reaching for the sun, a moth drawn to the light, and of course a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love (or baseball). Where it comes to love, yes we are drawn in search of it, just as we are drawn in search of something greater than ourselves, a desire which is forever unquenchable in our relationship with God. This is as God intended. We long to love and to be loved, we are forever in search of happiness. It is as He intended. He knows this desire ultimately draws us to Him. This attraction which occurs, a process of interactions between neurotransmitters hardly seems to be romantic when described this way, is of course more than just a chemical phenomena, and when taken to its conclusion it requires more than basal, instinctual desires, it requires a total entrusting of one's self to the other person. Just as is described in today’s Gospel the love of the Father draws us to Him and we come to know the satisfaction of a deepening relationship with Him through prayer and the sacraments, we likewise are drawn into a loving relationship with another in marriage. As in our relationship with God we have responsibilities toward nurturing that relationship through prayer and the sacraments, so too in marriage we have responsibilities toward nurturing the relationship with our spouse.
A mature love requires going beyond the enjoyment of being with the other and beyond bathing in the pleasure received from the other. There is a built-in obligation to look beyond our own desires and needs and take responsibility for attending to those of our partner. Just as we entrust ourselves to the love and care of our Creator, we likewise in marriage entrust ourselves to the care of our spouse, and as Blessed Pope John Paul II described in his book Love and Responsibility we are “drawn into the closest possible partnership in the life and activity of another, and become in a sense the property of whoever benefits from this gift of self" As we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel today we are reminded that we can turn to our Blessed Mother for strength and guidance, we need to remind ourselves in marriage we can turn to our spouse. Pope John Paul II suggests that “The greater the feeling of responsibility for the person the more true love there is" The more we reach out to one another the more love we’ll enjoy together. Make a great day!
Today we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
Posted by Donald Gatwood at 6:53 AM