by Ken Rolheiser
The Power of Love full volume 

Driving down the highway recently I was enjoying Celine Dion’s version of “The Power of Love” and cranked up the volume to a dangerous level. Dangerous because the music moves you in its power and message.

Dion has her own history and a powerful love story. Her manager and later husband Rene Angelil died recently of cancer at seventy-three. Despite the twenty-six-year difference in their age they fell in love and enjoyed twenty-one years of marriage and three children.

Now Dion is back on stage and says of her career resumption, “It’s what he would want for me. It’s what he always wanted for me. We still live that together.” It is fitting that her “heart will go on” with the therapy of music.

At times in our lives we need to find the vision so our hearts can go on, and we can continue to serve the Lord and our loved ones, An example comes to mind. Suppose a husband suffers from altzheimer’s disease, and as is often the case, does not accept his condition and makes things difficult for his care-giver spouse.

After a time of hateful words and abusive language the care-giving wife needs some powerful support to go on. The power of love is like grace from the Holy Spirit. The wife can remember the years when her husband was there for her and the family. When he could, he loved her faithfully. Now this love can sustain her in marvelous ways.

Her heart will go on and she can continue the journey that now somehow has become less painful. Our journey toward God can continue with much the same realization of the power of love.

When suffering and pain drives us to our knees, we may turn against God who has been our faithful care-giver for all these years. The amazing truth is that God’s love for us will go on as God’s graces continue to fall on us who have become needy and dependent.

What is needed in both the above analogies, the altzheimers’s care-giver and the victim of suffering, is the fire of the Holy Spirit which is like the passion that fires human love.

“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” (Romans 5:5).

Just as the wife in our example above realizes the love her husband has faithfully had for her, God is there for us when we struggle in illness, suffering or pain. Without our asking God has already sacrificed his son to lighten our burden and forgive us. His love has been faithful even when we turn from him unknowingly.

The topic of this column suggests we leave the last word to Galatians 5:22-23: 
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” 

Let us go in peace to love and serve one another.

(514 words)