Father Joseph V. Corpora, CSC, | August 30, 2017
I often ask myself if I love God. I know for sure that I want to love God with all my heart and soul and mind and being. But I don’t know if I do. I don’t know if I can prove that I do.
St. Bernard wrote this about seeking God: “You would not be seeking me if you had not already found me.” In a similar fashion, I like to think that I would not want to love God with my whole being if I did not already do so. Please, God, may this be true.
Here is one thing I can point to. In the seventh chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke, Jesus goes to dine at Simon’s house. While he’s there, a sinful woman washes his feet with her tears and dries them with her hair. Jesus says of her, “She has loved much because she has been forgiven much.” Well, if this is true of the sinful woman, I hope this can be said of me: “Joe has loved much because he has been forgiven much.” And indeed I have been.
Not long ago someone asked me, “Father, if you had your life to live over again, would you?” And my first response was, “No way.” The person was surprised and asked why I wouldn’t want to live my life over. I said, “There’s absolutely no way I could be so blessed a second time around.”
Father John Dunne, CSC, used to say, “The worst thing that can happen to you in your life is not that your life plan fails, but that it works, because God’s life plan is always so much bigger and better and deeper than anything that you could have ever thought up for yourself.” That is certainly the case in my life, which has been filled with more opportunities and blessings than I could ever have imagined. God has been unspeakably good and generous to me and has accompanied me through ups and downs, successes and failures, hopes and disappointments, good times and bad.
I have known more forgiveness than I ever thought I would need. God has shown me a lifetime of mercy, again and again and again. I often wonder how I could have been so lucky, so blessed, so fortunate, so how could I not spend my life in service to God and to others? God has been so reckless with his mercy and forgiveness towards me that I cannot not give my life over. God has given me so much that were I not to share it in ministry, I would be hoarding. And all God’s gifts are given for the good of the community, not for the individual.