Lately I’ve felt a deep sadness for a handful of people I’ve met who are struggling and seem broken-hearted. My heart seems to be more sensitive and I am surprised by how these few people have had such an affect on me. I’m not fond of using cliché descriptions, but at times I feel like God is breaking my heart. Sometimes, I just want this sensitivity and sorrow to subside, so that my heart won’t be so uncomfortably heavy. The problems these people face intimidate me a bit and I’m not sure how exactly God would want me to love or serve them. I feel this desire to love them but I’m not sure how to do that, especially since I now live on the other side of the country.
A little frustrated, I talked to a Priest. I unfortunately don’t remember most of his advice, but one thing he said really resonated with me. “God has entrusted you with this pain and with this conviction to love,” he said, and went on to pray that God would reveal to me how to respond to their sorrow. That word, entrusted, I found very striking. Before, I considered this heavy heart to be a burden, but when considering it as something God has trusted me, the rookie missionary, to experience, I have this renewed conviction to accept my breaking heart and strive for a greater capacity to love.
As I began to grasp what God was calling me to I turned to prayer to get more clarity on how I could love better and become more compassionate. I knew God was calling me to love more radically but wasn’t sure how that love was supposed to materialize. How do I show them your love, Lord? How am I supposed to love them? Do I send them a valentine? Do I write them anonymous letters? Do I need to prepare some bold testimony? How do I love them and fix their problems?
A few days later, in a rather simple and quiet manner, God responded. During Morning Prayer I felt God call me to His tabernacle; to seek love first and foremost there and in the silence of my heart He would teach me to love more radically. “Anyone who wishes to give love must also receive love as a gift. Certainly, as the Lord tells us, one can become a source from which rivers of living water flow. Yet, to become such a source, one must constantly drink anew from the original source, which is Jesus Christ, from whose pierced heart flows the love of God,” writes Pope Benedict in his Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), which I am so appropriately reading now.
At the moment I feel like God isn’t asking me to attempt to fix anyone’s problems, He’s just asking me to love them through diligent prayer and to dive deeper into His personal love for me in order to teach my heart to lover more radically.