The Wings of Love

In the 2012, I did a film for Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Titled The Wings of Love, the film ended with this meditation:

Both the New and the Old Testament reveal God’s preferential love for those the world ignores and rejects. As followers of Christ, we must make every stranger, no matter how poor or dirty, no matter how weak or unlovable, our neighbor. In fact, from Christ’s perspective, how we care for the poor is the only authentic indicator of how much we love God. In prayer, we learn what to do, how to respond to the poor, the persecuted and the suffering. And its prayer that sustains and guides what we do for them.

Prayer and compassion are the wings of Christian life. Prayer prompts us to reach out in compassion to the suffering and weak, and helps us embrace all of humanity. Action is intrinsically united with prayer; each of us must take responsibility for meeting the needs of others, for we are the accomplices of evil if we do nothing to prevent it. Love casts out the darkness of hate and division. From love flows understanding, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and peace. Love unites. Love is One.

My time with the poor served by Catholic Charities taught me a valuable lesson: we are all beggars. None of us is sufficient unto herself or himself. All of us are plagued by unending doubts and restless, unsatisfied hearts. By ourselves, we are incomplete. Our needs are always beyond our capacities, and we only find ourselves when we lose ourselves. Prayer and contemplation free us from being self-serving and prepares us to lead a life of service to others without unconsciously desiring our own success.

We live in a world of stark inequality and injustice. So did Jesus. Jesus had a deep concern for those who suffered and were marginalized. So should we. For the follower of Jesus, compassion is not an option; it’s an obligation…and a sign our lives have been transformed into the healing presence of Christ.

Jesus showed us how to love, how to love unconditionally and without limits. And according to Christ, how we love the hungry, the lowly and the lost, is how we love him.

In reality, we are all homeless, even if we live in a palace, because everything on earth is perishable…except love. All suffering and every misery we encounter in life is waiting to be embraced by the wings of Love.


4 Responses to “The Wings of Love”

  1. 1 squeaky kneeler March 7, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Gerry, as always so masterfully said! Thank you, thank you, for such bittersweet reminders of “What It’s All About, Alfie!” i especially love your constant image in your blogs that there are two wings (LOL, imagine trying to fly with one?! Boom…Crash…Bang…Smash! You Knucklehead, You!) You tell us that the two wings are Prayer and Compassion, absolutely inseparable. They will daily, constantly, lead one to the other. Prayer will lead us out to Care, and Care will take us back to Prayer, especially the Prayer of Thanks, God, that you let me be of some service. That’s the Life, man! Remember Tony Bennett, “To the Good Life!” Well, i have known both “avenues” of what is called “the GOOD LIFE.” i have dined with the “rich” many times, and i have stood on bread lines…and learned to share a loaf of good beautiful and sustaining “daily bread” with some other poor soul next to me. i’d take the latter avenue any day, Gerry, uncertain as it is. i just know it is the “right direction,” not the storing up but the pouring out. The words of “the Great Soul,” “Mahatma” Gandhi ALWAYS HAUNT me: “Look in your closets. If you find a second pair of pants or shoes, a shirt you do not really need, then aren’t you a robber? Knowing full well that you have a little brother or sister out there somewhere who needs them more?!” Holy Moly, Mr. G!!! You’re killing me. i mean that as Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Gerry. Thanks for trying to keep us all awake!!! You’re a great soul, Gerry Straub!

    • 2 aliceny March 7, 2015 at 10:54 am

      You, too, are a great soul, Squeaky Kneeler. It seem that you have been THERE on the other side. Absolutely no comparison, because that is the side that HE is on – the ONE who nourishes us in ways that we never dreamed possible. If only we could convince more people of where their true lives belong.

  2. 4 krebsjoan March 7, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Gerry, given all the above, anything I said as comment would be redundant or worse; I find that repugnant. Instead, I’ll just say thank you for the reminder.

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