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By Reverend Father Charles E. Irvin

Loving with all your life

Totuus Tuus. Perhaps you’ve noticed that Latin phrase on Pope John Paul II’s insignia of office, his heraldic arms. Totuus Tuus – Everything is yours – marks Karol Wojtyla’s inner spirit. It denominates his way of loving.

Jesus loves us with everything that’s within Him. His entire life was spent in one act of emptying Himself out for us in His love for us. As He hung on the cross He continued to let everything within Him slowly drain out all over us and into God’s good earth, sanctifying all of creation with His blood. The famous San Damiano Cross, the one that radically changed Francis of Assisi’s life, depicts the blood of Christ emptying out of His body over the soldiers that crucified Him as well as those standing underneath it.

In his Gospel, St. John does not use the phrase “ … He died.” Instead, St. John reports that Jesus “ … handed over His Spirit.” He gave us everything that was within Him. Born by the power of the Holy Spirit, baptized in the Holy Spirit at the River Jordan, Jesus died handing over His Spirit to us. Bethlehem to Pentecost – everything within Jesus Christ was emptied out and poured out into us. On His cross Jesus was whispering His words of love to us: Everything is yours.

Skeptics tell us that we should not (and cannot) love like that. It is unhealthy both psychologically and emotionally, the “experts” tell us, to love like that. It’s unreasonable and irrational. It doesn’t make any sense. No human being can love like that.

Well, of course they are right … unless God exists! They are right … unless Jesus Christ is risen from the dead and is living within us. “With men it is impossible,” Jesus told us. “But with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

The whole life, passion, death, resurrection and giving over of all that was within Him (the Paschal Mystery) is the pattern for loving that Jesus gave us. It is the template by which we cut the seamless garment, the whole cloth, of our loving lives.

Faith is an adventure, and so is love. Faith is the other side of the coin of love. You cannot say to others “I love you” unless you believe in them. And you cannot really believe in them unless and until you can say to them “I love you.” Both are component parts of the currency of living, loving and believing.

Which is why your Church is giving you FAITH Magazine. If you peer into it deeply enough, it is an icon that opens your eyes to what Jesus’ life and living was all about. Will you travel on this adventure with us? Will you, on your own road to Emmaus, walk along with us? We invite you to do so. And perhaps in the sharing of our stories of faith, you, along with us, will discover and experience the Presence of Jesus.

In his own self-emptying love, Jesus of Nazareth was raised by the power of the Holy Spirit and transformed into the Risen Christ of glory. That same transforming power can be yours also, if only you find His life in your life, if only you find your life in His.

Totus Tuus – Everything is yours.