Memorial of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs
In the seminary, a man sometimes discerns that he is not called to the priesthood. There are times, however, when a man may or may not be a good candidate but it is unclear. Why? Because he is unformable – he is somehow resistant in his will to be conformed to the man who can receive the responsibilities of Holy Orders. It is not that he can never be ordained but that at that time he does not present the capacity to be.
Notice the nuances in the two greatest commandments that Jesus gives you from the Law. You are to love the Lord God with all your affection, your whole being, and to give primacy of your thoughts to Him. Still, you will do that “with all your strength.” There is a capacity to be able to do that. The same goes for love of neighbor in which you love to the extent you love yourself.
The capacity to love God and neighbor is not determined. Oh sure, some of us are called to religious life, for example, and we anticipate heaven by devoting ourselves to God above a spouse (cf. 1 Cor. 7:32). Nevertheless, your capacity to love God more fully can expand. Think of poor Sara in the Book of Tobit today who had seven husbands killed on their wedding nights. Tobiah suggests that they pray at the beginning of their union, praising God for His gifts and asking that He make the two of them holy and fruitful as was intended in the beginning before man and woman sinned. God indeed blessed them, but He preserved them to grow in greater love.
St. John tells the Church that God is love. You know God is eternal and infinite. Thus, you can assume that heaven will be a place that you will grow in love infinitely. Place no limits on love and ask God to expand your capacity for it.
Reflection by Fr. Pachomius Meade, OSB