and me: A love story
Silvia Maria Tarafa, SCTJM
For private use only -©
the spirit of St. Valentine’s, I share realizations the Lord used to
draw me to Himself - as one who would later be called to be totally
His. He “allured me… bringing me into the wilderness and speaking
tenderly to me” of the immensity of His Love (cf. Hosea 2-14).
The price Jesus was willing to pay for His bride: One early morning,
I began to understand the depth of the meaning of the cross by the
price paid to see it through - the death of God. The Spirit
clarified that our Lord, because He was God, did not use some form
of divine anesthesia to numb the pain of the crucifixion; no, He did
precisely the opposite. Because He could not suffer as God, and He
wanted to prove His love for His beloved, God put on our human
nature so that He could actually undergo suffering. Any numbness
felt is not His, but ours, in our inability to receive and respond
to so much love.
Who was the crucifixion for? Growing up, I learned that Jesus died
for humanity. I understood this to be humanity at large. But one
early morn, the Holy Spirit helped me understand that Jesus became
man at the Incarnation, came as a baby, submitted 30 years to his
parents whom He loved, but who were His creatures nonetheless, and
then freely allowed Himself to be slaughtered like a lamb, without
uttering a word. And He willed all of this, not just for “humanity”
in general, but specifically for me - Silvia, for love of His bride.
To Him we are not a conglomerate mass of people. We are particularly
chosen, and as I discovered on that early morn, we, and I am, His
beloved, whom He specifically willed to give up His life, to ransom
mine. This kind of extreme love calls forth love from the human
And what would He gain from this extreme gesture of love, bordering
on madness? My salvation, the sharing of His divinity with me for my
sanctification, and our ultimate union. But His sacrifice would only
be effective if, and only if, I accepted the gift. Knowing ahead of
time my weakness, what peril! Yet, in the extremeness of His love,
He took a chance and risked it all - for me.
And so when, years later, He came to ask for my heart, how could I
not be drawn by the tenderness of this love? How could I not try to
respond in kind to the extremes of His love in my own little way?
How could I not give my heart to Him who had allowed His Heart to be
pierced for me? And how could I not consider it all rubbish, and be
willing to leave everything behind, for love of Him?
This is the greatest love story ever told. I know it is not just my
love story; is it also yours?
Teachings of SCTJM...
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