Epiphany of the Lord (January 8, 2017)

On this feast of the Epiphany, we are reminded that God accepts those who approach God in simplicity of heart. St. Francis de Sales notes:

Many wonders accompanied the birth of the Savior. One was the appearance of the star that brought the Magi. They came with simplicity of heart to adore and render homage to our new King lying in the manger. Let us, likewise, love Our Savior in simplicity of heart, having but one aim and object in all we do. Simplicity is nothing else but a pure and simple act of charity which has only one end in view, and that is to obtain the love of God. The heart full of sacred love has no less love when it turns to external duties than when it prays. In such hearts, their silence and their speech, their action and their contemplation, their work and their rest equally sing God’s praises. They do all their deeds, great or small with great love. Such were the lives of the saints.

We may ask, “How can we acquire God’s love?” Some people think that a certain art is needed in acquiring sacred love. In fact there is no art other than to set ourselves to the work of loving God, which means applying ourselves to the practice of those things that are pleasing to God, in simplicity, without trouble or concern. Imitate the simple love of doves in their having only one mate, for whom alone they do everything, and whom alone they wish to please. Imitate them also in the simplicity with which they express and show their love. They are happy to rest quietly in each other’s presence.

The true means of finding and acquiring holy love is to remain in Christ’s presence. In this Presence, let us delight in the joy of experiencing many inspirations and affections because we belong exclusively to God. Like the Magi, let us come close to the crib of the Christ Child. Let us be rich in love for our Savior who desires to show us how to love.

(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales)