Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
“The love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all.” St. Paul’s words, apart from their specifically theological content, express a basic truth about human action: we do what we love. This is true even when we do things we know we shouldn’t, because the action proceeds from the heart’s desire. A man must learn to restrain certain desires by the use of reason, but in the end he will always gravitate towards what he loves. As Augustine says, “My love is my weight.” Hence man’s task on earth is not merely to restrain bad passions, but to love what is good and to set his heart wholly upon it.
“The love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all.” Does Paul mean “Christ’s love for us” or “our love for Christ?” Both, it would seem, are essential. God loves us first, so what love we show him is always reciprocal and secondary; but his love impels us only when it becomes our love for him, the principle that orders our life from within and flows out into the world like streams of living water.