The Spanish mystic Saint John of the Cross said that in the evening of life we shall be judged according to our love. In Matthew 25 the nature of love is specified. It is not primarily a feeling, an attitude, or a conviction, but rather a concrete act on behalf of those in need–the hungry, the homeless, the lonely, the imprisoned, the forgotten. It is the bearing of another’s burden.
Here’s a challenge: Over the next forty-seven days, resolve to perform a particular and sustained act of love.
Make several visits to your relative in the nursing home. Converse regularly with a lonely person on your block. Tutor and befriend a kid who might be in danger of losing his way. Repair a broken friendship. Bring together bickering factions at your place of work. Make a number of financial contributions to a worthy organization that needs help.
Numerous spiritual masters have witnessed to something odd: Belief in God is confirmed and strengthened not so much from intellectual effort as from moral action.
When a man once asked the English Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins what he must do in order to believe, Hopkins replied, “Give alms.”
As you love through tangible acts, you will come to believe more deeply and to enter more fully into friendship with God.
by Fr. Robert Barron