There are some memories in life that we never want to let go of. For you men, perhaps it was the time that your dad looked at you and told you how proud he is of you for the man you have become. For you women, perhaps it was the time your dad told you how beautiful you are, and how you deserve to be loved and cared for, because of the precious treasure that you are. For you parents, maybe it was the time you held your first-born child for the first time. For you teenagers, maybe it was the time that your parents bought you that truck that you always wanted…and the thrill of driving it for the first time down the country road….through the mud! For you priests maybe it was at your first Mass at the moment of Consecration when for the first time as a priest you held Jesus in your hands. For you who are dedicated to God in Consecrated Life, perhaps it was the memory of your final profession, when you vowed poverty, chastity and obedience for the whole of your life and at that moment became a Spouse of Christ for all eternity! All of these memories have something in common: they are memories of a time where we knew we were loved.
The next few steps of the ladder of love speak about charity. “The seventh step of the ladder gives it an ardent boldness. At this stage, love neither profits by the judgement to wait nor makes use of the counsel to retreat, neither can it be curbed through shame…” (Dark Night of the Soul. Bk 2 Chapter 20 par. 2). This is the step in which one is willing to endures all things for God. I suppose we can ask in our own life: Am I willing to endure everything out of love for God…even death?
The eighth step of the ladder of love involves holding on to the Beloved, and never letting go. This is a real test of love and trust…clinging to the one we love without letting go, even when the road is hard. St. John of the Cross further clarifies this step: “If one were to remain at this step, a certain glory would be possessed in this life; and so the soul only rests for short periods of time” (Dark Night of the Soul Bk. 2 chapter. 20 par 3). We never want to let go of the one who loves us beyond what we can imagine! From this step, one enters the state of the perfect.
We need to hang on to Jesus. He is life and the source of life. I once heard a priest say, “Keep your eyes on Jesus…focus on Jesus!” May our eyes continue to be fixed on Jesus! May we never forget all the moments in our lives when God has shown His love for us! You do not need to look very hard…every moment is a gift from God!
10 Family Photo Ideas: February 1, 2019
Accessed April 12, 2021