Friday, November 16, 2012

St. Gertrude, the New Evangelization, the Fullness of Love

We have a wonderful feast today to celebrate with St. Gertrude present among us.  I think she’s allowed to be present with those who invite her, so we invite St. Gertrude to celebrate the day fully with us and to enlighten us and pray for us, that we may celebrate as she celebrates.  We know that St. Gertrude can only celebrate with her whole heart.  Her conversion began that fullness of love for which she is renowned.  I wish for all of us that same fullness of love.   That fullness of love always comes from a renewed conversion within us, a new sense that, yes, we’re sinners, but we’re loved sinners.  God is not focusing on our sins, God is focusing on our love.  There comes a point in our lives where we have to throw away our cares but that we only care that God is loved.  God wants so much to be a Father to us.
Cardinal Dolan gave an excellent talk on the new evangelization in which he says that the new evangelization will in essence depend on and begin with the conversion of the bishops, cardinals, priests, nuns, the religious.  We begin the new evangelization because we have to hear it new to pass it on new.  We have to begin a new fire within us to help set the world on fire.  It’s going to begin with us; and that means a conversion.  But conversion doesn’t mean a doleful, sorrowful way of looking at everything.  It’s a way that rather abandons oneself to love and says “whatever I need to hear, I want to hear it so that I can be new, so that I can be changed, so that I can grow evermore in love.”  I think St. Gertrude would say 'Amen' to that.
I’ll quote a bit of what Cardinal Dolan said in his address:
As I began my talk this morning, my brothers, so I would like to end it, with Blessed John XXIII.
It was the Sunday angelus of October 28, 1962.The message the Holy Father delivered on that bright Roman afternoon never even mentions the phrase New Evangelization. But it strikes right at the heart of the mission entrusted to each of us as shepherds.
‘I feel something touching my spirit that leads to serenity," Good Pope John remarked. "The word of the Gospel is not silent. It resonates from one end of the world to the other, and finds the way of the heart. Dangers and sorrows, human prudence and wisdom, everything needs to dissolve into a song of love, into a renewed invitation, pleading all to desire and wish for the establishment of the Kingdom of Christ. A kingdom of truth and life; a kingdom of holiness and grace; a kingdom of justice, love and peace.’”
 That spirit goes on because it’s the spirit of the Church and it’s the spirit that cries out, “love beyond love!”  As we sing the feast of St. Gertrude today, let us carry out that joyous love which we find overflowing in the antiphons.  Our own lives should be an exclamation point of a song of love.

The above meditation was given by Mother Maria Michael Newe to the nuns of the Abbey of St. Walburga.