A friend recently recommended that I read the bio of St. Maria of Paris. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how engaging the story of her life and ministry have been to me this week. I’m still reading her story, but I want to share some of her wisdom that has spoken to me.
"No amount of thought will ever result in any greater formulation than the three words, ‘Love one another,’ so as long as it is love to the end and without exceptions." - St. Maria of Paris
What would it look like if I, for even a day, loved without exception?
"If someone turns with his spiritual world toward the spiritual world of another person," she reflected, "he encounters an awesome and inspiring mystery… He comes into contact with the true image of God in man, with the very icon of God incarnate in the world, with a reflection of the mystery of God’s incarnation and divine manhood. And he needs to accept this awesome revelation of God unconditionally, to venerate the image of God in his brother…" - St. Maria of Paris
What would it look like if I, for even a day, encountered those I meet in a way that venerates the image of God within them?
I’m thankful for St. Maria and the prophetic voices proclaiming love in the face of the broken world all around us.
"… can we call God trustworthy, much less trust that God will provide? Can we trust that God established creation in such a way that all life can be nourished, that no one need go hungry?… I believe that we can trust God to provide because God has provided. God has provided the garden of this world. God continues, moment by moment, breath to breath, to sustain life itself. There is enough here for all. But all do not have enough, not nearly enough. It is not God who needs to be overcome in order that all may eat. It is human greed, human grasping, human violence that must be overcome. It is human sin, in which we all have a share…
What would manna look like in our day?”"
So this video started going around my facebook today, with about a dozen of my female friends sharing the link with comments like, and “Everyone needs to see this”, and “All girls should watch this,” and “This made me cry.” And I’m not trying to shame those girls! I definitely understand why they would do so. And I don’t want to be a killjoy. But as I clicked the link and started watching the video, I started to feel a slight sense of discomfort. I couldn’t put my finger on why that was, exactly, but it continued throughout the whole thing. After watching the video several more times, I have some thoughts…