With All Your Heart - Art of the Big-Hearted

Posted January 8, 2008

With All Your Heart – Art of the Big-Hearted

The heart of a blue whale, caught in 1947, was hoisted onto a giant scale. It registered an amazing 1,540 pounds! The heart of this world’s largest animal seems awesome to us, but the really big-hearted are the human love champions that love their enemies.

Jesus spells out his command (not option) for us to love our enemies, not just our friends. “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Lk 6:27-28). He even says we must “lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great” (v. 35).

Such “hard sayings” of Jesus, like “forgive from your heart” (Mt 18:35), are scales that measure how big our heart is, and also whether we can truly call ourselves Christians: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples” (In 8:31). And, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (In 13:35).

It’s hard enough to love an irksome fellow worker or a neighbor who lets his barking dog annoy you. Even in cases of serious hurts and injustices, it is possible to love, but only if we realize that we are not required to like our enemies, but to have “benevolent” love for them-that is, to desire good for them. That big-heartedness is mega-Christianity!

“One-Minute Meditations for Busy People” by Fr. John H. Hampsch, C.M.F