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Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P.
Love, A Meditation

What does love sound like?

It sounds like...
   ...clapping, the sound of someone cheering us on.
   ...the ring of the telephone, someone away at college calling home.
   ...a car pulling in the driveway, friends coming for a visit.
   ...a lullaby in the ear of a baby being rocked to sleep.
   ...laughter shared around the dinner table.
   ...songs sung around the piano in the living room.
   ...the sound of words like, "I'm sorry," and "I forgive you."

Love also sounds like...
   ...voices negotiating for arms reduction.
   ...a voting machine operated by an informed citizen.
   ...chains breaking and an oppressed people set free.

And we are reminded of love when we hear...
   ...the sound of sheep rustling on a Bethlehem hillside.
   ..."Amazing Grace" sung at a funeral or bag-piped at the cemetery.


What does love smell like?

 It smells like...
   ...bacon being fried by a father who got up early to make breakfast for his family.
   ...a freshly washed shirt carefully prepared for you.
   ...the front lawn cut by your son, before he was asked.
   ...crayons your older sister shared with you on a rainy day.
   ...flowers placed around a casket.

Love also smells like...
   ...new school books for someone in a poor country who, until now, never had the opportunity for an education.
   ...fresh air, brought about by citizens concerned about the environment in their city.

And we are reminded of love when we smell...
   ...incense, and adore the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.


What does love feel like?

It feels like...
   ...a warm hug during a thunderstorm.
   ...a strong back that lifts you up when you fall.
   ...a kiss, after an argument with your spouse.
   ...sweat, after a long day of work to earn money for your family.
   ...a tear running down your cheek, as you watch your daughter get married.

Love also feels like...
   ...a half-empty but contented stomach of someone who has just shared a meal with a starving child.
   ...a cozy, crackling fireplace to a homeless person resting in a welcoming shelter.

And we are reminded of love...
   ...when we feel a warm handshake as we enter church on Sunday morning.

What does love taste like?

It tastes like...
   ...the tea and honey your mother gives you when you are sick.
   ...that chocolate cake especially baked for you on your birthday.
   ...the hot dog your father buys you at the ball park.
   ...hot coffee on the kitchen table, accompanied by a friend's understanding ear.

Love also tastes like...
   ...home-made soup at the St. Vincent de Paul kitchen.
   ...fresh water that a Peace Corps worker helped bring to a remote village.

And we are reminded of love...
   ...when we taste bread and wine, now the Body and Blood of Christ, shared by a parish family gathered together for worship.


What does love look like?

It looks like...
   ...a brightly wrapped package with your name on it under the Christmas tree.
   ...that expression of welcome in someone's eyes when they see you walk into a room.
   ...a letter in the mail from someone who says they miss you very much.
   ...a teacher arriving early to plan a special project for her kids.
   ...a priest working late at his desk, trying to word his homily just right.

Love also looks like...

   ...refugees being embraced at the airport after years of separation from their family.
   ...workers bursting into smiles as a child is finally rescued from an old well.
   ...a hundred and fifty nations gathered at the Olympic Games just to have fun and not make war.

Finally, and most especially, love looks like...
   ...Christ on the cross!  "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son." (John 3:16)

     At Sunday Mass we gather with the Church around the whole world to give thanks for the many ways we hear, smell, feel, taste, see - experience - love.  Then we are sent forth to lavish love on all we meet throughout the week.