Witnesses of love

Yesterday RSCJ and young people connected with us from ten countries began gathering in Tarnow in Poland, at our convent there, for an international pre-World Youth Day meeting. Over four days of sharing prayer, pilgrimage, activities and their cultures and experiences the group will undoubtedly grow and learn much, individually and together. They will then travel to Krakow to join over two million other young Catholics - and the pope - for the main WYD events.

When this Sacred Heart programme was first put together it was given the name Witnesses of Love. No doubt, at the time, the organisers felt the world needed more people prepared to witness to the enduring and transforming power of love; and that maybe the participants needed to be recalled to this fundamental call. The plethora of terrorist and racist attacks, hate and violence in recent weeks has now made this so much more necessary: more than ever, the world needs people who believe in love and what it can achieve, and are ready and willing to love as deeply and widely and passionately as they possibly can.

Today we celebrate the feast of St Mary Magdalene, the foremost witness of love, par excellence. She had experienced the deep and unconditional love of Love Incarnate, and had responded with a passionate, blazing love of her own. Because of this love she became an ardent disciple, drinking in every word Jesus said, wanting, no doubt, to tune her heart in with his; to love as he loved. And because of this love she was able to stand at the foot of his cross, silently and unwaveringly supporting Jesus in his agony; she was able to gaze steadfastly on the pain and suffering caused by evil, and, despite and from her own heart-piercing grief and pain, go on loving.

Nothing, said St Madeleine Sophie once, blots out sin like love, and this was certainly true on Calvary, and needs to continue to be true today. Love is what lies at the heart of our call as RSCJ, and, fundamentally, as people of God, who is All Love. Our only response can be to seek to muffle sin and evil with love and goodness, and to be witnesses to love's restorative, reparative power to all those we encounter. May the example and prayers of St Mary Magdalene help us in this, and be especially with the seventy young Witnesses of Love gathering in Tarnow.


  1. You have a beautiful blog. Thank you so much for sharing. :)


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