He is the Best

He is the Best - A story about faith, by Victor Degabriele SJ

She was sitting on a bench by the seaside.  Her head was bent over and her hair hung loosely on her face.  The way she was dressed marked her out as a ‘society’ girl;  she was given attention wherever she had been.  Here she was, fumbling for something in her bag.  She took out a packet of paper tissues, and wiped her eyes.  She was in deep sorrow.

“Woman, why are you crying?  Whom are you seeking?”

She was profoundly surprised that someone should take such an interest in her just at this time in her life when she felt so alone.

From the depth of her grieving heart she answered:  “Lord, if you have taken him away from me, tell me where you have put him and I will bring him back.”   The stranger answered:  ”Mary!”  That word, her name, spoken with deep concern, pierced her heart.

She took out a letter from her bag and read it to her new-found friend.  Through her tears she struggled to read it out to Him.  Her boyfriend of four years had informed her that he did not want to marry her but merely to cohabit with her.  She understood that he did not trust her so much as to dedicate himself to her.  Her boyfriend insisted that he still loved her, but it was obvious that his was a limited and conditioned love.

Sobbing, Mary told her wonderful Friend:  “I feel useless and rejected.  I do not want to live anymore.  My boyfriend filled my whole heart to my great joy.  Now my heart is empty and wounded, and torn out of me.  I want to die.”  She could not control herself and burst out crying like a little helpless child.

“Mary,” her Friend replied, “I have not taken your boyfriend away from you.  It was he who decided not to be totally generous with you.  But if you want to I will give you all my heart;  if you allow me I will love you totally, without any conditions.”

Mary felt within a deep consolation, and her loving nature, which had been in real danger of extinction, was fanned into an intense affection, which she could not and did not want to resist.  

“Come with me,” the Lord said, and he led her to a nearby church.  There she knelt before the Lord knowing that she was totally appreciated and loved.

“O Jesus, I know it, love is repaid by love alone.”

“You have loved me to folly.  My heart burns within me;  it is all for you my dearly Beloved.”

She went out of the church, this time with tears of deep joy. She sat on the same bench as before, and wrote a short note to her former boyfriend:  “Dear John, thank you for your letter.  I am not interested in cohabiting.  I have found a Friend who loves me totally. He has given to me his whole self, and I too want to give him my whole self.  I want and will marry only him.  He wants to marry me.  Goodbye.”  She put the letter in the mailbox nearby.

As she looked out to sea, the deep and clean sea, she saw and felt there an image of her new Friend, the One who found her  -  authentic, honest, deep in his love.  Full of joy she went back to her apartment.  There she found her Friend.  He had cooked a meal for both of them.  “My Dear, I will serve.”   “You must sit down”,  Love said, “and taste my meat!”  So I did sit and eat.

Victor Degabriele, S.J. 

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