A Thought for Valentine’s Day: Why We Need Never Be Lonely!
The bishop stood before the 36 young confirmandi about to receive the sacrament of confirmation. Everyone was quiet as they gazed at the bishop looking at them. He pointed at the tabernacle and began: “Do you see that flame flickering near the tabernacle?”
Everyone turned to look at the candle burning a bright red near the tabernacle. He continued: “It’s quivering flame reminds us that Jesus is present in this Church. Whenever we come into this church, day or night, we will see that candle burning. Its constant flame tells everyone Jesus is here,” he said.
Then with staff in hand, the Bishop continued: “During your confirmation the Holy Spirit will light a flame in your hearts. It’s your reminder that Jesus is constantly there too!”
Pausing, the Bishop said: “And its flame shows you that Jesus sees you, knows who you are, and loves you. The quiet, flickering, and ever-burning flame is there to remind you that Jesus is near. We never have to fear loneliness or know the panic of being all alone.” The Bishop added: “The Holy Spirit’s special task is keeping the warmth of Jesus’ love safeguarding and protecting everyone who follows Jesus.”
What a powerful image of the Holy Spirit! To keep alive in the heart of believers this amazing promise, Jesus, the son of God and Messiah, is always traveling with us through each day.
Jesus is next to us when days are bright and sunny, and behind the dark clouds when nights are somber and slow. The burning flame shows Jesus as our true best friend forever who is always unfailingly close.
St Francis de Sales knew the warmth of the Holy Spirit’s flame when he wrote:
When did God’s love for you begin? It began when God began to be God-which God has always been. So also, God has loved you from all eternity. Saying “I have loved you with and everlasting love.” Ps 103.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
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Blessings, Fr. DeLillio