In the Gospel of St. John, there is a disciple whom Jesus loves in a particular way. He is never named, just called “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. But tradition says that it was the author, St. John himself, whom he humbly described only as the “beloved disciple”.
She ran, therefore, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith to them: They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. John 20:2
Peter turning about, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also leaned on his breast at supper, and said: Lord, who is he that shall betray thee? John 21:20
That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved, said to Peter: It is the Lord. Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, girt his coat about him, and cast himself into the sea. John 21:7
Jesus was able to love St. John because of his virginal purity. Each one of us has to admit that it is hard to love others who are living sinful lives. The sins they are committing, exude something that naturally repels us. Their sins get in the way of deep love. We can not open up to them because we cannot trust them.
Love comes naturally with people who have no guile. For this reason we want to be pure in every way possible, to open our hearts and souls to God’s love and love from others.
St John also writes in his Gospel about Jesus’ love for Mary, Martha and Lazarus:
Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus. John 11:5
The Apostle John whom Jesus loved was a son of Zebedee, and brother of the Apostle James, who was beheaded by Herod soon after our Lord suffered. He was the last of the Evangelists to write his Gospel, which he published at the request of the Bishops of Asia, against Cerinthus and other heretics, and particularly against the then spreading doctrine of the Ebionites, who asserted that Christ had had no existence before Mary. It was therefore needful for the Evangelist to declare His Eternal and Divine Generation.
The Blessed Evangelist John lived at Ephesus down to an extreme old age, and, at length, when he was with difficulty carried to the Church, and was not able to exhort the congregation at length, he was used simply to say at each meeting, My little children, love one another. At last the disciples and brethren were weary with hearing these words continually, and asked him, Master, wherefore ever sayest thou this only? Whereto he replied to them, It is the commandment of the Lord, and if this only be done, it is enough.”
As traditional Catholics, we do our very best to love Jesus. For this reason we adore Him with respect and reverence at the Latin Mass. For this reason we kneel with love to receive Him in Holy Communion. For this reason we love all that is traditional in Catholicism, because of Him.
Because we know that Jesus loves us so much, we deeply believe that each one of is rules, are rules that come from a loving God and are given to us for our own good. The 10 commandments and other Catholic morals, only make sense in the context of love.
And because we have found this love, we also want to share the traditional Catholic faith with others, who may not like it or who may have never heard about. But we do it in the context of that it is good for me and you, because it is centered on love from God and for God. In this way we do what St. John exhorts us to practice: “My little children, love one another.”
In your daily prayer time, have you learned to be quiet and lean on the chest of Jesus? If you can imagine yourself as the beloved disciple at the Last Supper, leaning on Jesus’ chest, quietly listening to HIs loving voice. This voice is coming from HIs Sacred Heart to speak to us and to help us along the way of life.
It is so wonderful to be a traditional Catholic and to know that all in the 2000 year old Catholic faith comes from a loving God. We can never meditate enough on the great love God has for each one of us.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.