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“Small Things, Great Love!” By Kristen Gawlik, Fiat Ventures

“Small Things, Great Love!”

By Kristen Gawlik, Fiat Ventures

I’m often amazed by the spiritual battle that takes place when driving in my car.  I’ve got a pretty long commute every day, so a substantial amount of my day is spent in the car.  This morning I left a little too late to make it to my 8:00 am class on time.  Instead of simply accepting my error and the consequences of being late, I allowed impatience to take over.  I groaned at every traffic light and became irritated by those I deemed “slow drivers.”  Instead of enjoying the radio, I rolled my eyes that the same songs were on again.  As I sat in heavy traffic, I looked around my car at the clutter and had plenty to judge myself about regarding my untidiness.

This Sunday’s Gospel provides us with a message that, if truly lived, is the most perfect formula for holiness.  Yet, at the same time, this Gospel passage is used to often that we might be tempted to look past it without thought.  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…love your neighbor as yourself.”  Jesus gives us the two greatest commandments, revealing that it all boils down to how we love God, others, and ourselves.  It can’t get much more straightforward than that.

Let’s reverse for a moment, though (time to accelerate the driving puns).  Not to completely put myself down, but I don’t think loving God, others, or myself really came into play this morning!  Did I take time to stop and pray instead of complaining about the radio?  Did I treat the “slow drivers” with dignity and respect as I aggravatingly passed them as soon as possible, as if they were the reason I was late for class?  Did I cut myself some slack for the current state of my car, considering how busy I’ve been lately?  Unfortunately, I can’t say yes to any of these questions.

St. Teresa of Calcutta said, In this life “Not all of us can do great things.  But we can do small things with great love.”  I know for me, when I consider this Sunday’s Gospel, my mind quickly goes to the big ways I can love God, others, and myself.  For a few examples, I might think of resisting big sins, giving my time and money to charity, or spending a ton of time in prayer.  Things like that are really great and important, don’t get me wrong, but they’re also a lot more obvious.  Mother Teresa says we should do small things with great love.  If I had to dissect what she is getting at, I have to guess that choosing to be peaceful during rush hour applies here.

Jesus tells us to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and I know that, for me, the word all makes me jump to big things, as my “all-or-nothing” mentality would have it.  I think, instead, having a more all-encompassing mindset would help here.  The times we are called to do big things are great, but God wants us to love Him in even the smallest of occurrences, encompassing every moment of every day.  When we are alone in the car, God is there with us.  When we are having coffee with a friend, God is there with us.  When we are sitting in class or in a meeting, God is there with us.  In whatever we are doing, God is present, and He calls us moment by moment to love Him more and more.  The more we take the chance to love Him in the small things, the greater our love will become.

This week, let’s strive to give our all to God and let that show in all we do.  May we be driven to love him from moment to moment, knowing He is with us always.

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