“Agape, the love of each one of us for the other, from the closest to the furthest, is in fact the only way that Jesus has given us to find the way of salvation and of the Beatitudes.”
Every once in a while I get a piece of hate mail. It doesn’t happen very often and if I’m honest, as a formerly aspiring D-list Catholic personality, the occasional vitriol-laced correspondence used to make me feel strangely relevant. A few weeks ago I received one such letter signed by "a Concerned Catholic." The contents didn’t bother me nearly as much as the signature. Would this individual be so "concerned" if he or she knew my story? And if the person was so concerned, why wouldn’t they want me to be able to get in touch with them to discuss the matter more? Thankfully as I read the letter, I was able to quickly diagnose that my current phase of life was causing me to read a little too much into the letter. As I put it aside, I couldn’t help but wonder how often in my life and leadership I might treat people as if they have no story? It’s impossible to know everyone, but as I encounter each person in my day, do I make some small attempt to recognize their dignity, to demonstrate my concern for their person? Even more importantly, with those that I am blessed to share life with regularly, how do I help them to feel known by me? In my prayer, I believe that God knows me intimately. Am I making the same effort to know God with the same closeness or am I trying to send anonymous letters, asking for something but not providing a return address? This Lent, how can we show others how known they are by God by how known and loved they are by us? Prayers as you strive to be that kind of "Concerned Catholic."