Saturday Study Hall – “Love creative unto infinity”
Within our Vincentian Family, we often cite the saying of St. Vincent: “Love is creative even to infinity” as a sort of rallying cry for adaptation. But do we understand Vincent’s use of the phrase?
Robert Maloney CM writes… “Ordinarily, we use this citation to motivate others to be creative pastorally, to respond to new forms of poverty, to be inventive in new formation programs for lay leaders and for the clergy, to investigate ways of rooting out the causes of poverty.
“But apt as this rhetorical use of Vincent’s words might be, their actual context was quite different. They refer to the institution of the Eucharist. Vincent, in speaking to a dying brother in 1645, exhorted him to think of God’s mercy. After describing many of the signs of God’s tender love, he told the brother that Jesus, foreseeing his death, did not want to leave his followers alone. He feared that in his absence their hearts would grow cold. And so, he tells the brother, “since love is creative even to infinity … he instituted this venerable sacrament which serves as food and drink for us … Because love is eager to do everything it can, he so willed it.”
“In this article I offer some reflections on the Eucharist in the Vincentian tradition. Following amethodology I have used on many other occasions, I will divide these reflections into three parts:
- The Eucharist in the life and writings of St. Vincent
- Some horizon shifts between the 17th and 20thcenturies
- Some reflections, in a Vincentian context, on the Eucharist today