Yesterday, with Monsignor Canon John I concelebrated at the funeral Mass of Kevin Alban in Aylesford. Fr Kevin was a Carmelite and Prior Provincial and died at the age of 62 earlier this month. As part of the liturgy of the word a well known passage from St Theresa of Lisieux.” Story of a Soul” was read.
“Since my longing for martyrdom was powerful and unsettling, I turned to the epistles of St. Paul in the hope of finally finding an answer. By chance the 12th and 13th chapters of the 1st epistle to the Corinthians caught my attention, and in the first section I read that not everyone can be an apostle, prophet or teacher, that the Church is composed of a variety of members, and that the eye cannot be the hand. Even with such an answer revealed before me, I was not satisfied and did not find peace.
I persevered in the reading and did not let my mind wander until I found this encouraging theme: Set your desires on the greater gifts. And I will show you the way which surpasses all others.(1 Cor 12:13) For the Apostle insists that the greater gifts are nothing at all without love and that this same love is surely the best path leading directly to God. At length I had found peace of mind.
I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and places…in a word, that it was eternal! Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out: O Jesus, my Love…my vocation, at last I have found it…My vocation is Love!”
This was not just St Theresa’s call or vocation but the calling of each one of us. God is calling us to a life of love. Fr Kevin was called to love as a priest and a Carmelite. Whoever we are and whatever we do we are called to live a life of love.
Lord, today I offer my self as an instrument of your love. Give me your Spirit that may bravely say yes to your call to love.