“However, my dear mother, you must know that, although you are very far away from me, you are always present to me, and that tomorrow especially there will be no distance at all in my mind, surrounded as I shall be by all those who have the right to my affection and on whose concern I am counting. […] my eyes may see, my soul absorbed in God will see you in him, you, my darling sister, her children, my venerable uncle and the whole family, my children in Jesus Christ, my friends worthy of that title that it is not my wont to bestow lightly. If, as I hope, my letter of the 4th arrived in time, tomorrow morning we shall all be united in Jesus Christ in the most intimate way, as you will all be united with the Sacrifice during which I shall be consecrated, by communion and by the Masses that will be said for my intention. And this is how I shall find consolation for my isolation from all I love.” (Letter to Mrs. de Mazenod, October 13, 1832 – 167: XV in Oblate Writings)
I think briefly of my own shattered relationship with my mother which was bereft of any kind of love. I grew to continue the very violence I abhorred upon myself long after I was away from home. Different from Eugene’s communion with his mother in prayer the day before his episcopate. And yet for all the love that was denied God has embraced me so extravagantly in love that I am all but buried in it. More tender and all-consuming than all the love I could have imagined, yearned for or ever dreamed of in a thousand lifetimes.
Who knew that a heart could grow to such heights, to become so large and encompassing? This morning I thank God for the smallest of his mercies – for they are each bigger than all of the universe. Imagine what it is to be in the fullness of life after death with God – a thing to anticipate and run towards!