Who is in love is always “beside himself with joy.” He comes out of himself, forgets himself because to encounter the other proves to be an irresistible impulse. Even the mystical experience of ecstasy, from the Greek word existánai means “to be beside oneself” and caught up in God. “It’s not that we love God but that God first loved us, so we, too, must love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us and his love comes to perfection in us.” (1 Jn 4:9-12).
Richness does not lie in the structures, but in its members, with special mention to the most needy and vulnerable. It is my hope that my reflections will evoke in you a similar sense of thanksgiving and belonging without, of course, denying our flaws and lack of perfection.
Some Protestants and Muslims in Pakistan accuse Catholics of being idol worshippers. Pakistani Catholic Yaqoob Masih is a controversial and polarizing figure among many Christians in Punjab province because of the statues he makes.
Woe to chastity that is not practiced out of love, but woe to love that excludes chastity. These are the words of Benoit Standaert, a Benedictine monk, and I believe they can be profitably read in our culture today where, to the detriment of everyone, the sexually active and vowed celibates alike, sexuality and chastity are generally seen as opposed to each other, as enemies.