“I am wounded by love” -Song of Songs 2:5
The ideal of a wound of love is unusual in our pleasure driven society that seeks to avoid pain and suffering at all costs. What does it mean to be wounded by love? In a recent homily, a priest said that our bodies are able to show how much we love. One can readily see this embodied in St. Teresa of Calcutta’s disfigured feet which are the proof of her work of love in serving the poorest of the poor. We actually have a feast day in the Church to celebrate our Holy Father St. Francis receiving the wounds of Christ (called the Stigmata). He begged God to let him, as much as possible, feel all that Christ suffered during His passion, but only if he could also experience the love that Christ felt as He won our salvation on Calvary. The power of Christ transformed Francis’ wounds from a painful experience to the evidence of love. Francis’ perception was changed. He went from avoiding pain to desiring such union with Christ that he would even embrace His wounds of love. By Francis’ example, we too can learn to suffer joyfully out of love. This is lived in community life by accepting others as they are, quirks, weaknesses, and all. In this way, we are more conformed to Christ, who out of love, suffered all for our salvation.