Friday, December 21, 2018

"If love was a train, I'd throw my body on her tracks"

All week I was planning a fairly lengthy post for today. But then today came, I awoke, shaved, brushed my teeth, showered, dressed, and flew off church to serve alongside my bishop at Mass. The Gospel reading for 21 December is a concentrated treatment of the Visitation of Mary to her kinswoman, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist (see Luke 1:39-45). Since it was a school Mass, my bishop, Oscar Solis, tailored his homily for the children. He preached on joy and love or, more specifically, the joy borne of love.

Of course, the spiritual fruit of the second Joyful mystery of the Holy Rosary, which bids us to meditate on the Visitation, is love of neighbor. By their respective conceptions, both women knew the love of God, the Blessed Virgin in a particularly intimate way. Experiencing the love of God has the peculiar effect of one who has received it not being able to keep it to herself.

Not only did my bishop preach what I needed to hear, in gearing towards children, he preached it in a tone that my heart heard. I am not going to try and replicate here what he said. What is the point of that? All I can say is that I often "forget" I am loved. This results in me sometimes living like I am not loved. What does that mean? It means not loving others, especially the person to whom I am closest.

Our Friday traditio, then, for this Third Sunday of Advent is an old song of which I was reminded this week: "If Love Was a Train." It is a song by a chanteuse I like very much, both as an artist and a person, Michelle Shocked. Because of privacy restrictions, you'll have to click the link to listen to the song. It's worth your while to do so.

Why this song? Because, like a lot of blues, it is about the kind of love we all desire but can never find. As Michelle herself figured out, there is what Steve Winwood called "a Higher Love." To experience it, you must take time with the One who loves you infinitely. If love was a train, along with Michelle, I would never get off.

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