28 January 2022

Do you remember the Yellow Pages advert where a chap is looking for a book called "Fly Fishing"? On Monday, I was trying to find one of the Shrine's videos and this old advert popped up. Most people in Britain will remember this little bit of television nostalgia, but in case you don't, here it is in full:

There is something quite wonderful about Mr Hartley trying to find a book he (presumably) wrote decades ago. Nowadays he would probably be searching on the internet to find his book. At the time, the advert was so popular that there were plenty of spoofs on it. 

There is nothing worse than losing something and not being able to find it (not just a book you wrote decades ago). Back in October 2020, I lost my wedding ring somewhere near Aylesford Priory and I had to call around all the places I had been to find it. Luckily the local Chinese takeaway had found it and were really kind to send it back to me.

As Christians, we are very lucky that one thing we can never lose is God and his love: whatever we do, whatever we fail to do - God is always there and he will always love us.

Let us briefly ponder on the first letter of Saint John,  4:

Beloved, let us love one another,
because love is of God
everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.

In this way the love of God was revealed to us:
God sent his only-begotten Son into the world
so that we might have life through him.
In this is love:
not that we have loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.
No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.

The quote above is often used at weddings, because it talks about God's love in such a beautiful way. What is John telling us? As Emeritus Pope Benedict explained: “[John is saying that]...everything has its origin in God’s love, everything is shaped by it, everything is directed towards it. Love is God’s greatest gift to humanity, it is his promise and our hope”. Therefore God's love is not merely a sentiment or philosophy, but a living reality and is visible throughout history, but is most clearly demonstrated when “God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him”.

In his Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis confirms that: "Christ's death discloses the utter reliability of God's love above all in the light of his resurrection. When Saint Paul describes his new life in Christ, he speaks of 'faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me'...God's love really does act in history and determines its final destiny: a love that can be encountered, a love fully revealed in Christ's passion, death and resurrection.

How lucky we are that God's love is right here, right now and which is completely tangible. Never lost.

Let us pray...

Bless us with Love, O Merciful God;
That we may Love as you Love!
That we may show patience, tolerance,
Kindness, caring and love to all!
Give me knowledge; O giver of Knowledge,
That I may be one with my Universe and Mother Earth!
O Compassionate One, grant compassion unto us;
That we may help all fellow souls in need!
Bless us with your Love O God.
Bless us with your Love. Amen.

- Author Unknown


Image credit:alex_skp