Love Starts at Home!

1 Timothy 5:8

If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Christian faith has always been measured (in the Catholic tradition) not by miracles or wonders, but by love. Miracles alone do not a saint make.  After all, Balaam’s Donkey performed the wonder of speaking, but the Church never got around to canonizing it.  Likewise, Caiaphas, the man who desired the execution of Christ, made the true prophecy that it was better for one man to die than for a whole nation to perish, but this hardly guaranteed his sanctity.  No, the way the Church has always determined the measure of a person is by the love they demonstrate.  Such love, as always, begins at home.  We crawl before we walk or run.  And so, before we try to save the world or be Mother Teresa, we begin by loving the people God has thrown us in with willy-nilly: our mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, uncle, aunt.  Often, just loving these people is challenge enough for a lifetime.  But caring for them is the bare minimum, the basic training ground, the place we begin.  Learn our lesson well there, and we shall be able to move on to the higher lessons of love in the Kingdom.  Today, make a special gesture of love to your family.

Mark Shea

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Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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