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Our love should not be just words and talk;
it must be true love, which shows itself in action.”
1 John 3:18
Prior to entering the convent, I always considered myself to be a loving person—I was kind, generous, and very hospitable (or so I thought). Having lived with the community for four years now, I am beginning to learn what it truly means to love. From my experience, it’s easier to talk about love than to actually live it. I soon discovered that the test of true love ironically presents itself in times of trial. When life is treating me well, it is easy to love. It is easy to smile when I’m having a good day. It is easy to give from my surplus. It is easy to love another person if that person loves me. The test of true love comes….when I’m having a bad day: can I still smile at the sister who irritates me? Can I give, even in my scarcity? Am I reliable, even when I’m tired and sick? Can I still be faithful in prayer even in times of dryness and boredom? It is during these moments that determine how “loving” I really am. Love, then, no longer is a feeing, a theory, or empty words. As St. John says, it shows itself in action.
Furthermore, Bishop Lambert, our founder, encouraged all to “attain a realistic love for the Cross of the Son of God” because it is through the Cross that Christ manifested His love for His Father and for the world. We imitate this “realistic love” by accepting and embracing our daily crosses. A more concrete example would be to choose to love joyfully in all circumstances, whether life’s treating us well or terribly. Through our response and attitude, we are able to give testimony to the greatest love for Christ to others, not just by our words, but in our very lives.