Aflame with Love

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Illustration by Br. Martin Erspamer, OSB, a monk of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, Indiana. Used with permission.

Peter Maurin, cofounder of the Catholic Worker movement, was a servant of God who did not “hide his talents in a hand-kerchief.” Maurin is best known for his “Easy Essays,” pithy, succinct speeches that distilled lofty ideas of philosophy, eco-nomics, and theology into easily understandable images. In one essay, Maurin called Catholics to “Blow the dynamite of the Church.” This was no call to violence. Rather, Maurin said, Catholics’ desire to assimilate to the world was stifling the revolutionary good news of Christ. 

Christ, like the king in today’s Gospel, is unpopular. So, we keep our faith private and try to blend in. We keep the treasures of the kingdom to ourselves. But “wrapped in a handkerchief,” our faith cannot set the world aflame for Christ. 

Risk is an essential element of love. The master gives his stewards a risky task: to multiply his fortune in an unfriendly land. Christ puts himself in the Church’s hands—he takes a risk on us. How often do we avoid risk and hide what we should proclaim? 

Maurin believed the Gospel is powerful enough to remake the world, “to create a new society in the shell of the old.” Our lives and talents spent in love of God through love of neighbor can remake the world into the image and likeness of the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. That love can explode the shell of the old world and usher in the new, heavenly kingdom where all praise the Lord of Love. 

© Liturgical Press.

Renée Darline Roden

Renée Darline Roden is a writer and playwright in New York City. She holds degrees in theology from the University of Notre Dame and an MS in journalism from Columbia University.

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