“I am certain of nothing but the Holiness of the Heart’s affections and the Truth of the Imagination.” (John Keats)
Tomorrow is a special day. There will be two new saints canonized at the Vatican and celebrated all over the world. As I write this there are people from hundreds of countries camping out in Rome, making their way to cities with grand scale celebrations organized, coming together to watch and pray and revel in the joy of it all. What is all the fanfare about?
So much of life is difficult. So many days are filled with paperwork and laundry and tending to sick family members… but at the heart of it all is love.
Love is the centre of our relationship with ourself, the fabric of our interaction with others, the foundation of our hope for the future. Love is the thing that washes over the rough surface of daily life and smooths it out for us.
God is love.
“Love is my religion – I could die for it.” (John Keats)
I have lived a great life. (Hopefully, only half a life so far…) It has been frustrating and difficult on many occasions (daily!) but it has taught me what I needed to know most of all… Love and be loved are the greatest parts. I have a husband who shares in my joys and struggles, children who challenge and cheer me, work that alternates between strenuous and uplifting… I have love.
The parade to sainthood for two twentieth century popes marches along with the same beating heart. Their lives were made to bring us all together, to grow in community and love for each other. This canonization is a reminder that sainthood isn’t about perfection, it isn’t beyond what is human. Sainthood is only the truest manifestation of the most basic, simple human element – love.
Love is for you and love is for me, but love is best when we are in it together.
And for poetry month…
“It has made me better loving you… it has made me wiser, and easier, and brighter. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I did not have them. Theoretically, I was satisfied. I flattered myself that I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid sterile hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better. It’s just as when one has been trying to spell out a book in the twilight, and suddenly the lamp comes in. I had been putting out my eyes over the book of life, and finding nothing to reward me for my pains; but now that I can read it properly I see that it’s a delightful story.” (Henry James)