It’s the Love That Counts

Happy Birthday to Pope Benedict XVI today!

To prove that God looks only to the love which inspires our actions, one day Soeur (Sister) Therese related the following story to us: “Once there was a great lord who built a church in his realm as a lasting memorial to his liberality. On the day of the grand dedication, this sovereign’s name and the name of his family could be clearly seen, carved in bold letters on one of the prominent stones of the building. The next day, however, the only name to be seen on the stone was that of some unknown woman. Needless to say, the original inscription, which had been completely obliterated, was restored at once, but the same phenomenon again took place. After several renewed attempts to by-pass the miracle were similarly frustrated, the irate lord began an investigation. He had at the outset forbidden his subjects to contribute, even in a small way, to this project; he was to be the sole donor. Now he began to suspect that somebody had secretly interfered with his plan. The unknown name was, therefore, duly identified, and the guilty woman summoned to justice. Denying, at first, all responsibility in the matter, she suddenly remembered… During the building operations, she had noticed how difficult it was for the horses to drag along the heavy cartloads of stone, and with her last coin, she had bought a truss of hay for them. ‘These dumb animals are, in a certain way, participating in this great work,’ she had reasoned, ‘and as I have been deprived of the privilege of contributing directly to this temple, perhaps God will accept the offering I am making through them…’ That was the extent of her guilt. The humbled sovereign fully understood…and there was no further interference with the miraculous inscription.”

“This proves,” Therese added, “that the most trivial work, the least action when inspired by love, is often of greater merit than the most outstanding achievement. It is not on their face value that God judges our deeds, even when they bear the stamp of apparent holiness, but solely on the measure of love we put into them… And there is no one,” she concluded, “who can object that he is incapable of even this much, for such love is within the reach of all men.” (My Sister Saint Therese, p. 73-75)

I hope that all of you had a great Easter Octave and Divine Mercy Sunday. Also, we wish Pope Benedict XVI a very Happy 85th Birthday today! Viva il Papa!

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