I remember my twenty-two-year-old self just longing and aching to be married with children. The more I attended my college friends’ weddings and the baby showers that followed, the more my heart ached to be a bride and a mom. I couldn’t even look at a young couple with babies without feeling my heart swelling inside of me—without tears of longing welling up in my eyes . . . “Please, God! Let my vocation be marriage and family! Please God, prepare someone for me.”
To my great delight, only a few years later, the deepest dreams of my heart came true. God fulfilled that deep ache in my heart to be loved as a bride, and to give my life in love as a mom. What an amazing and truly crazy adventure it is!
But over the years, I discovered something else too. Even though my vocation is genuinely fulfilling (though at times exhausting!), I still feel that ache, that deeply feminine ache, still yearning, still wanting . . . even more.
In today’s readings, St. John the Evangelist explains why. There’s a deep ache in each one of us to be loved by someone who is perfect—someone who sees us as we truly are, and with the greatest tenderness, looks into our eyes and calls us his “Beloved” (1 Jn 3:2). We ache to “hear [his] voice” (Jn 10:27) whispering to us, telling us we are his, we belong to him . . .
In one of the most fascinating plays ever written, The Jeweler’s Shop (JS), John Paul II counsels a mom, Anna, who stepped into her vocation with high hopes and lofty dreams, not expecting all the real trials and difficulties of family life. She feels hurt, lost, and deeply discouraged. But JP II has a special message for her heart.
Just like the readings for today, he tells her that “beyond all these loves, there is Love!” (JS). The deep ache in her heart is a sign that she was meant for more. She aches for God. He invites her to listen to God’s voice, speaking to her exhausted and discouraged heart. She hears God’s voice whispering to her . . .
“Beloved, You do not know how deeply you are mine. How much you belong to my love.” (JS)
These are the words that the God of the universe speaks to you. “Beloved, How deeply you are mine! How much you belong to my love.”
We have become accustomed to thinking of love as simply doing a good deed. It’s not wrong, but it’s terribly incomplete. The deepest meaning of love is belonging. It is looking into the eyes of Love and knowing deep down that you are his: “My beloved is mine and I am his. His desire is for me” (Sg 7:10). That’s intimacy!
So dearest mother, may you know today that you are his beloved. You are loved totally, deeply, tenderly, intimately, by the God of the universe. The God who loves you is not interested in a long-distance relationship. He refuses to love you from afar. Today he offers you his REAL presence. Don’t lovers always ache to be in each other’s real presence?
May his love for you replenish your heart today! The eyes of his heart are ever upon you, for you are his beloved.