Love’s Response to Suffering

“There is hunger for ordinary bread, and there is hunger for love, for kindness, for thoughtfulness; and this is the great poverty that makes people suffer so much.”

I read this quote of Mother Teresa of Calcutta while hearing daily reports of the soccer players and their leader trapped in a cave awaiting rescue from the rising waters around them. Their anguish-filled suffering and lack of basic nutrition must have been intense.

As they were being rescued, this quote in some way described the power of love to ultimately provide a path to health and safety. The courageous creative love required to end this fearful condition was remarkable. Their love slaked the hunger and quieted the fears of those waiting to be rescued. Their actions released them from the poverty of their helplessness and gifted them with a return to health and safety.

These days, when I look at those around me and see those who seem to be hurting and trapped by physical and emotional wounds which diminish their access to health, I’m again reminded of Mother Teresa’s quote. Then, I find myself taking a deep breath and inviting God to let those in poor health experience the healing anointing of God’s unconditional love within and around them. While my breath is a silent prayer for their healing, I, too, am reminded that that same healing love is within and around me. I smile as I sense that love-breaths seem to create their own chain reactions and expansion of love, energy and healing.

Mary Rachel Kuebelbeck, OSB