What we need is to love without getting tired. How does a lamp burn? Through the continuous input of small drops of oil. What are these drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things of daily life: faithfulness, small words of kindness, a thought for others, our way of being silent, of looking, of speaking, and of acting. Do not look for Jesus away from yourselves. He is not out there; he is among you. Keep your lamp burning and you will recognize him.
These words of Jesus, “Even as I have loved you, also love one another,” should be not only a light to us, but they should also be a flame consuming the selfishness that prevents the growth of holiness. Jesus “loved us to the end,” to the very limit of love: the cross. This love must come from within, from our union with Christ. Loving must be as normal to us as living and breathing, day after day until our death.
We do not need to carry out grand things in order to show a great love for God and for our neighbors. It is the intensity of love we put into our gestures that makes them into something beautiful for God.
Do not pursue spectacular deeds. What matters is the gift of your self, the degree of love that you put into each one of your actions.
Peace and war start within one’s own home. If we really want peace for the world, let us start by loving one another within our families. Sometimes it is hard for us to smile at one another. It is often difficult for the husband to smile at his wife or for the wife to smile at her husband.
In order for love to be genuine, it has to be above all a love for our neighbor. We must love those who are nearest to us, in our own family. From there, love spreads toward whoever may need us.
It is easy to love those who live far away. It is not always easy to love those who live right next to us. It is easier to offer a dish of rice to meet the hunger of a needy person than to comfort the loneliness and the anguish of someone in our own home who does not feel loved.
I want you to go and find the poor in your homes. Above all, your love has to start there. I want you to be the good news to those right around you. I want you to be concerned about your next-door neighbor. Do you know who your neighbor is?
Always be faithful in little things, for in them our strength lies. To God nothing is little. ... Practice fidelity in the least things, not for their own sake, but for the sake of the great thing that is the will of God. ...
You may be exhausted with work, you may even kill yourself with work, but unless your work is interwoven with love, it is useless.
Do not pursue spectacular deeds. We must deliberately renounce all desires to see the fruit of our labor, doing all we can as best we can, leaving the rest in the hands of God. What matters is the gift of your self, the degree of love that you put into each one of your actions.
Do not allow yourselves to be disheartened by any failure as long as you have done your best. Neither glory in your success, but refer all to God in deepest thankfulness.
If you are discouraged, it is a sign of pride, because it shows you trust in your own powers. Never bother about people’s opinions. Be humble and you will never be disturbed. The Lord has willed me here where I am. He will offer a solution.
If you are working in the kitchen do not think it does not require brains. Do not think that sitting, standing, coming, and going, that everything you do, is not important to God.
God will not ask how many books you have read, how many miracles you have worked; he will ask you if you have done your best, for the love of him. Can you in all sincerity say, “I have done my best”? Even if the best is failure, it must be our best, our utmost.
If you are really in love with Christ, no matter how small your work, it will be done better; it will be wholehearted. Your work will prove your love.
You may be exhausted with work, you may even kill yourself with work, but unless your work is interwoven with love, it is useless. To work without love is slavery.
Pots and pans image at top from morguefile.com; the photo of Mother Teresa is in the public domain.